Visiting France also offers a strong cultural and historical immersion. France has an exceptional architectural heritage, with its towns and villages, its museums, its monuments and of course the most beautiful French chateau which mark out nearly 2000 years of history. Discover and visit the most beautiful castles in France, from Paris to Provence, from Occitanie to the Loire Valley. Castles are part of the French art de vivre.
This French chateau was chosen by Louis XIV, passed into the hands of architect Jules Hardouin Mansart, who strove to modify it while retaining certain elements. As for the garden, it was the landscaper Le Nôtre who in turn modified the gardens, in particular by enhancing the moat according to their original plan.
True to his style, he opened up the perspectives to the sky, composed bodies of water and statuary according to a pragmatic structure. Hard hit by the storm of 1999, all that remains of Le Nôtre’s work today is the layout and the octagonal basin.
Palace of 1,500 rooms located in the heart of 130 hectares of park and gardens. Residence of French sovereigns since the 12th century, F and du Primatice (group of artists known as the Fontainebleau school).
The first home of the Kings of France until the construction of Versailles, the gardens of the Château de Fontainebleau will impress more than one with its “French-style” cut boxwood beds and its grand canal.
Two first-rate elements give Vaux le Vicomte an endearing reputation. Vaux was the tragic scene where Fouquet, a faithful minister, paid with life imprisonment for the millions stolen by others, the jealousy of the ambitious and a little too much gallantry and splendor.
For ten years, under the protection of Fouquet, Vaux was also the paradise of the main French artists: writers, poets, painters, sculptors have endeavored to embellish Vaux with the best of their talent. Designed and created by André Le Nôtre, landscape gardener, the garden of Vaux le Vicomte is the first large French-style garden imagined by this genius landscaper. During his visit the King will be dazzled by it and, today, the garden of Vaux is known to be the model of many gardens created in France and across much of Europe.
Today, Vaux le Vicomte, the largest private French chateau, is managed by a family that strives to pass on this jewel of heritage to future generations in the best possible conditions.
Classified for 30 years as a World Heritage Site, the Palace of Versailles is one of the finest achievements of French art in the 17th century. The former hunting lodge of Louis XIII was modificated and enlarged by his son Louis XIV who installed the Court and the government of France there in 1682.
Until the French Revolution, kings followed one another, embellishing each one in their turn in this French chateau. Do not miss the park of the Palace of Versailles, the most spectacular and grandiose of the gardens in France. It is due to the genius of the gardener André Le Nôtre.
Around 1630, René de Longueil (1596-1677), president of the Parliament of Paris, decided to entrust the architect François Mansart with the construction of an important castle, to replace the manor that the de Longueil family, originally from Normandy, owned. since 1450 on his lands of Maisons-sur-Seine. Located on the banks of the Seine, but facing the forest of Saint-Germain-en-Laye, the Château de Maisons presented itself as the centerpiece of a geometric composition, focused on an immense perspective that extended beyond the river with a dominant view of Paris.
Designed to receive the king after the hunt, this French castle was considered, from its completion in 1651, as a model of architecture. The french chateau is open to the public by the Center des monuments nationaux.
Originally a simple manor, the castle became a fortified castle under Charles V. Purchased in 1394 by Regnault d´Angonnes, it will remain in this family for more than three centuries. François I died there on March 31, 1547. This French chateau became the property of the Duke of Penthièvre in 1737.
Louis XVI later acquired the estate and, wishing to attract Marie-Antoinette to it, had the Queen’s dairy built. to remind him of the hamlet of the Petit Trianon in Versailles. In 1883, the castle was made available to the Presidents of the Republic.
It’s a residence of the kings of France. In 1539, François 1er entrusted the architect Pierre Chambiges with transforming the castle into a Renaissance-style building. Under Henri II and then Henri IV, a new castle was built by Philibert de l’Orme. It will be demolished during the Revolution. Only the Henri IV pavilion remains.
During the Fronde, the young Louis XIV and his mother Anne of Austria took refuge there. At the same time, the Sun King entrusted André Le Nôtre with the development of French gardens. Today, this French castle has become the setting for the National Archaeological Museum.
Castle MONTE-CRISTO IN PORT-MARLY:
In Port-Marly, in the Yvelines, there is still the astonishing property that Dumas had himself built in 1846. He only lived there for a year, since he had to resell it in 1848, when he did not have more money. Located in a park where the “Château d’If” is also located, a small neo-Gothic palace which served as the writer’s study, it offers visitors a permanent exhibition on the life and work of Dumas.
With its many sculptures and portraits, its Moorish living room, its 9 hectare estate planted with trees and decorated with rockery, it is a unique place, unfortunately not sufficiently highlighted, but which will undoubtedly satisfy the curious or fans of the city. ‘author. Today, this French chateau offers a permanent exhibition, “Alexandre Dumas, his life, his work”, and temporary exhibitions.
The de Breteuil family is at the heart of French history. She still lives in her 17th century castle animated by 30 wax figures from the Musée Grévin. The remarkable listed gardens are an ideal place to walk. This French chateau is located in the heart of the Chevreuse Valley Natural Park spanning 75 hectares.
In the outbuildings, Perrault’s tales are superbly staged. At the Château de Breteuil, you will discover royal paintings, high quality furniture and above all you will meet a family whose ancestors have been at the heart of history for four centuries.
Listed as a historical monument, this Renaissance castle regularly hosts contemporary art exhibitions, inside the castle or in the open air. Above all, the area combines streams, shaded areas, small woods, statues, children’s area (workshops and dedicated activities) Unique landscaped and cultural heritage site, this estate now brings together an artistic and cultural center, the Departmental Archives and the Auguste Mione accommodation center. A relatively uncrowded “must”.
The garden with fourteen sources, seventeen pieces of water … Barely 50 km from Paris, Courances, one of the most beautiful gardens in France and its Louis XIII castle, listed as Historic Monuments, are to be discovered. This park of surprising beauty, classic and romantic, historical and contemporary, conceals an atmosphere that is both intimate and grandiose.
The omnipresence of “running” water, plants and stone in this 75-hectare landscape, the creation of which dates back to the 16th century, constitutes a unique spectacle. This French castle and its landscaped park offer walkers a setting that is both bucolic and majestic. Its domain is distinguished by a long basin and aquatic canals surrounded by large wooded areas.
A prestigious residence steeped in history and a residence where plant heritage reigns supreme: these are the two faces of the Château de Courson. With its slate roofs, its harmonious volumes and its classic shape, which evokes a horseshoe and recalls the original manor house built in the 16th century, this French chateau, classified as a Historic Monument since 1944, is part of a certain tradition French. It remains one of the last pieces of evidence of how to supply water to a multi-story building, before the intervention of electricity. Here you can discover a fascinating history of water.
The Domaine de Sceaux is the work of the Colberts. From 1670, the king’s minister commissioned the best architects and artists of his time to embellish it: Charles Le Brun for the decorations, André Le Nôtre for the gardens and Claude Perrault for the chapel, which has now disappeared. He endowed the estate with an enlarged chateau, stables, pavilions and landscaped gardens.
Spared by the Revolution, the castle was however razed at the beginning of the 19th century. In 1828, the Duke of Treviso had the present castle rebuilt. Today, the gate, guard pavilions, outbuildings, the Aurora pavilion and above all the magnificent orangery, the work of Jules Hardouin-Mansart, remain.
Huge fortress, built at the gates of the capital, as much to defend it as to protect the kings from its uprisings. It changed the living conditions of the French monarchy until 1682, when Louis XIV preferred Versailles to it. If the keep serves as a jail, the castle once again protects Paris during the invasions of the 19th century.
The current restorations give it a place worthy of its central role in the history of France. Since its construction in the 14th century by Charles V, this French castle has been, along with the Louvre, one of the most important castles in French history. It is also one of the largest and best-preserved fortresses in Europe.
Built in 1635, the castle became at the end of the 17th century. the property of Jean de Léry, adviser to the king, who transformed this Italian pavilion into a French castle welcoming a brilliant company. Château d’Auvers takes us in the footsteps of the great masters who marked the history of the village: Monet, Pissarro, Cézanne, Daubigny, Van Gogh, etc.
We walk through the rooms of the castle in the middle of reconstituted decorations evoking the favorite themes of the Impressionists: Parisian life in the 19th century, fashion and its trades, café-concerts, the journey by steam train, countryside parties and open-air cafes, Van Gogh’s last days in the village.
Prince Louis-François de Bourbon-Conti (1717-1776) had this castle and this park landscaped, until the bombardments damaged the whole. This residence is located on the edge of the Oise. Winding paths lead to a romantic cave where aristolochia and ivy climb. Plane trees and hundred-year-old lime trees adorn the 5-hectare park in full rebirth after 60 years of neglect.
Recently restored chapel. Two Chinese pavilions and a large number of very beautiful trees punctuate the promenade. A beautiful place to relax away from the hubbub of the city.
Ecouen Castle, a Renaissance-style building built between 1538 and 1555, housed various functions during the revolution. Meeting of a patriotic club, military prison, hospital. In 1865, Napoleon ordered by decree the opening of an educational center for the daughters of the Legion of Honor. In 1963, it was placed at the disposal of the Ministry of Culture and Communication. This easy hike will allow you to discover the park and this French chateau.