An other major destination are the Châteaux of the Loire Valley. The French Revolution saw a number of the great French châteaux destroyed and many ransacked, their treasures stolen. The overnight impoverishment of many of the deposed nobility, usually after one of its members lost his or her head to the guillotine, saw many châteaux demolished.
During World War I and World War II, some chateaux were commandeered as military headquarters. Some of these continued to be used this way after the end of the Second World War.
This World Heritage Site is noteworthy for the quality of its architectural heritage, in its historic towns such as Amboise, Angers, Blois, Chinon, Nantes, Orléans, Saumur, and Tours, but in particular for its castles, such as the Châteaux d’Amboise, de Chambord, d’Ussé, de Villandry and Chenonceau, which illustrate to an exceptional degree the ideals of the French Renaissance.
See also: Cities in Centre-Val de Loire
The royal Château de Chambord at Chambord, Loir-et-Cher, France is one of the most recognizable châteaux in the world because of its very distinct French Renaissance architecture which blends traditional French medieval forms with classical Italian structures.
The Château de Chenonceau is a manor house near the small village of Chenonceaux, in the Indre-et-Loire département of the Loire Valley in France. It was built on the site of an old mill on the River Cher, sometime before its first mention in writing in the 11th century.
Bourges Cathedral (Cathédrale Saint-Étienne de Bourges) is a Roman Catholic cathedral, dedicated to Saint Stephen, located in Bourges, France. It is the seat of the Archbishop of Bourges.
Château de Valençay is a residence of the d’Estampes and Talleyrand-Périgord families in the commune of Valençay, the Indre département of France. Although geographically it is part of the province of Berry, its architecture invites comparison with the Renaissance châteaux of the Loire Valley, notably the Château de Chambord
The Château de Montsoreau, in the market town of Montsoreau, Maine-et-Loire, France, was constructed in 1455 by Jean de Chambes, a senior councillor to King Charles VII. Erected on the bank of the Loire river, it was a strategic fortress, controlling river traffic between Chinon and Saumur.
The Château de Serrant is a Renaissance château situated in the Loire Valley 15 kilometres to the west of Angers.The Renaissance château is built on the foundations of a medieval fortress. From the 14th century the castle was held by the Brie family.
The Château de Fougères-sur-Bièvre is a castle in the commune of Fougères-sur-Bièvre in the Loir-et-Cher département of France. Originally an 11th century structure, it was entirely rebuilt at the end of the 15th century, only the large square keep being preserved.
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