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The province of Touraine abounds with the splendour of French culture. It is the birthplace of Ronsard, Rabelais, Descartes and Balzac. Leonardo da Vinci spent the last years of his life here, and it is where the Plantagenets chose to be buried.
Leaf through Touraine like a book about history, art or philosophy.
Le Clos de Ligré is well located, close to many historical and cultural sites that you can visit by car, bicycle or foot. Cars can be hired for you from Roissy, Paris, Tours or Chinon, and bicycles can be hired in Chinon

CHINON – à 6 kms au Nord du Clos de Ligré

A well preserved medieval town, beneath the crumbling walls of its gigantic ruined fortress.
Chinon castle was largely built by Henry II Plantagenet. It was one of his favourite residences and he died here in 1189. Richard the Lion Heart and John Lackland also lived here between 1154 and 1204.
Charles VII set up his court in Chinon, and it was here that Joan of Arc came to visit him as a « messenger of God » in 1429.From the castle there is a magnificent view over the old town and the Vienne valley.
Chinon is one of the most renowned of the Loire Valley wines.

LA DEVINIERE – 6 kms Ouest de Chinon

The heart of « Rabelais country », it is where François Rabelais (the leading writer and philosopher of his period) was born in 1494.
It is a small farm consisting of a group of 15th c houses.
This country seat of the Rabelais family now houses an interesting museum devoted to his life and early editions of his works. CHATEAU DU RIVAU – 4 kms Est de Chinon

An enchanting medieval and Renaissance castle with a collection of contemporary art and 12 gardens inspired by fairy tales and legends.

 CHATEAU D’AZAY LE RIDEAU – 20 kms Nord-est de Chinon.

Built on an island on the Indre river surrounded by parkland – the ideal setting for an architectural jewel. The chateau was constructed between 1518 and 1523 by the wealthy treasurer of King François I, as a worthy expression of his dazzling social rise.
The Chateau has been passed down to us largely unchanged. Its design is a perfect alliance of the traditional and elements borrowed from Italian architecture and combines luxury, charm and disciplined design.
It houses a collection of 16th and 17th c French and Flemish tapestries. There are evening promenade shows from mid-May to mid-September.


Built during the Renaissance, it was modernised during the 19th c when Balzac, the famous writer and novelist, stayed here as a guest. He was greatly inspired by the area and wrote many of his books here.
To-day, the chateau is a Balzac museum and remains almost exactly as he left it.

CHATEAU D’USSE – 15 kms Nord de Chinon

The majestic white castle dominates the Indre valley. It inspired Charles Perrault to write his famous story of the Sleeping Beauty (and later Walt Disney).
It remains a symbol of the medieval fairytale castle inhabited by brave lords, beautiful ladies and poets.
Mainly built in the 15th and 16th c, the formal gardens were designed by Le Notre, the famous architect of the gardens of Versailles, richly ornate with beautiful flowers and orange trees, some of which date back to before 1789.
Inside, the interior decorations date from the 18th c, the walls and chairs in the royal apartments still covered in the original sumptuous silk.
The chateau is still lived in by the owners. CHATEAU DE VILLANDRY – 22 kms Nord de Chinon

Among the chateaux of the Loire, Villandry owes its fame to the splendid gardens which encase it like a jewelled casket.
The water garden, the ornamental garden and the ornamental kitchen garden are its main points of interest.
Villandry is also renowned for the harmony of its architecture, and it is the last of the great Renaissance chateaux built on the banks of the Loire.
The interior was refurbished in the 18th c.
From the top of the medieval tower there is a fine view over the gardens and the Loire valley.

ABBAYE DE FONTEVRAUD – 15 kms ouest de Chinon

This important and beautiful ensemble of monastic French architecture on the border of Touraine and Anjou is now a cultural centre.
It was the largest monastery in Europe, ruled by women, and consisted of 4 priories.
In the nave of the abbey are 4 recumbent polychrome statues (13th c) of Henry II Plantagenet, Eleanor of Aquitaine, Richard the Lionheart and Isabella of Angouleme.  CHATEAU DE LANGEAIS – 25 kms Nord de Chinon

Langeais is on the « Route de la Vallée des Rois » circuit.
The castle was originally a medieval feudal fortress. It has remained intact since the 15th c., its drawbridge (still in working order) and imposing towers and battlement walk showing a defensive front to the outside world, while the internal façade heralds the Renaissance.
It was here that the marriage of Anne de Bretagne and King Charles VIII took place, marking the start of the unification of Brittany and France.
The interior is superbly furnished, and it has an outstanding tapestry collection of 15th and 16th c woven in France and Flanders.  CHATEAU DE SAUMUR – 35 kms Ouest de Chinon

Dungeon of the Plantagenet Kings of England during the 12th c, fortress in the 13th c, Huguenot stronghold in the 16th c, the chateau of the Dukes of Anjou is the very image of a fairy tale. The chateau now houses a museum of the horse, with an outstanding collection describing the history of harnessing throughout the ages and the world.
The castle is also remarkable for its architecture, its underground rooms and the dungeon, and the splendid view over the old town and the Loire.  TOURS – 45 kms Nord Est

Between the Loire and the Cher, Tours is a town of art and history.
The old town, with its 15th and 16th c houses and cathedral with superb 13th c stained glass windows, is a historic city, closely linked with the life of the bishop St Martin, famous for his generosity.