The castles that border the Loire River have the architectural particularity of having been for the most part, built or strongly altered in the 15th and 16th centuries, at a time when the court of the kings of France was settled in this region or its surroundings. We notice that all the castles are almost white. This is due to the chalk used in their construction, which gives the castles a luminous aspect and contrasts with the slate roofs. The castle of Ussé inspired Charles Perrault for his tale “Sleeping Beauty''. The castle of Chambord, associated with the reign of King François I, is the largest of the 3000 castles of the Loire. The castle of Chenonceau is nicknamed “the castle of the Ladies” because it was built, fitted out and transformed by women with very different temperaments. Finally, the castle of Nozet dominates a famous sauvignon blanc vineyard.
The whiteness of these castles is related to Wat Rong Khun, a temple located in the south of Chiang Rai, more commonly known as the White Temple. It was built by the artist Chalermchai Kositpipat. The whiteness here symbolizes the purity of Buddhism. The work is inlaid with pieces of mirror to suggest enlightenment. This temple is still under construction and not comparable to traditional Thai temples since it’s more a contemporary artistic creation.
USEFUL RESOURCES - Locations of the Loire castles :
Main royal castles :
- Castle of Amboise, Commune of Amboise, Department of Indre-et-Loire
- Castle of Angers, Commune of Angers, Department of Loire
- Castle of Blois, Town of Blois, Department of Loir-et-Cher
- Castle of Chambord, Commune of Loir-et-Cher, Department of Loir-et-Cher
- Castle of Chenonceau, Commune of Chenonceaux, Department of Indre-et-Loire
- Castle of Chinon, Commune of Chinon, Department of Indre-et-Loire
- Castle of Langeais, Commune of Langeais, Department of Indre-et-Loire
- Castle of Loches, Commune of Loches, Department of Indre-et-Loire
- Castle of Plessis-lèz-Tours, Commune of La Riche, Department of Indre-et-Loire
- Castle of Saumur, Commune of Saumur, Department of Maine-et-Loire
- Castle of Tours, Commune of Tours, Department of Indre-et-Loire
Some important noble castles :
- Castle of Azay-le-Rideau, Commune of Azay-le-Rideau, Department of Indre-et-Loire
- Castle of Beauregard, Commune of Cellettes, Department of Loir-et-Cher
- Castle of Brézé, Commune of Brézé, Department of Maine-et-Loire
- Castle of Chaumont-sur-Loire, Commune of Chaumont-sur-Loire, Department of Loir-et-Cher
- Castle of Cheverny, Commune of Cheverny, Department of Loir-et-Cher
For more information about the Temple of Wat Rong Khun, please click here.
You can find more information about the history of the Château de Chenonceau, also known as the Château des Dames, below.
As the name suggests, women are an integral part of the history of the Chateau de Chenonceau. Although it was built by men and largely owned by them, the history of the castle is really the history of the women who finished it, maintained it, cherished it and made it what it is today. From the 1500s to the 1800s, six resilient women occupied the Castle. Among them are Katherine Bohier (1500s), Diane de Poitiers (1547-1559), Catherine de Medici and Chenonceau (1559-1589), Louise de Lorraine (1559-1601), Louise Dupin (1733-1799), and Marguerite Pelouz (1864-1888). We invite you to consult this link for more information about these powerful and influential women.