25 April 2024

Eclectic France

Observations on the sites, sounds and events around France


Chateau D’Azay le Rideau

Located on the Indre river a few miles from Chinon, the Chateau of Azay le Rideau is one of the prettiest chateaux in the Loire Valley. It was built in the 16th century for the King Francis the First (Francois Premier). The state owns and manages the chateau today.

There is a lot to see during a visit. The building is, of course, impressive with the tuffeau stone creating an imposing structure. A moat which is more ornamental than defensive partially surrounds the main building. From certain angles, it looks like the chateau is floating on the water.

Inside, the various rooms are set out in the typical period style that is common in many historic buildings. During our visit, there was a nice selection of impressive furniture.

Look out for the amazing wooden vaulting in the roof. It’s not always easy to see features like this in the chateaux and other historic buildings. That makes it all the more impressive when you can. The scale of the beams and trusses give an idea of the sizes of trees they came from. They also demonstrate the skill and ingenuity of the people that built them.

Wooden roof vaulting at Chateau Azay le Rideau in the Loire
Wooden roof vaulting at Azay le Rideau

Outside there is an extensive garden which is pleasant to walk around. Visitors can discover various trees, plants and wildlife. Most of the chateaux in the Loire have large grounds. Many have formal gardens as well. All are different and they are always worth a look.

The chateau is open every day of the year except for Christmas Day, New Year’s Day and the First of May. Check opening times before visiting.