THE CHÂTEAU OF AZAY-LE-RIDEAU: A ROMANTIC AND RENAISSANCE GEM 

Breathtakingly beautiful, the Château of Azay-le-Rideau was compared to a “brilliant-cut diamond set in the Indre” by Honoré de Balzac. There is no denying that its water mirror and elegant architecture make it one of the most popular châteaux in the Loire Valley. Surrounded by the river, this gem of a château is bathed in the romantic atmosphere of its landscape park. Travel through time from the 16th to the 19th century as you visit this must-see château of the Loire during your stay in the region! 

JC Coutand – ADT Touraine

View of the front facade of the Chateau of Azay-le-Rideau 

 

THE CHÂTEAU OF AZAY-LE-RIDEAU: RENAISSANCE ROOTS 

Clad in tuffeau stone and elegantly ornamented, Azay-le-Rideau is both beautiful and charming! The château was built during the reign of Francis I on the land of the seigneurie of Azay, then owned by Martin Berthelot, an important bourgeois landlord. His son, Gilles Berthelot, was treasurer of the royal finances and was too busy to build the château himself, so he entrusted the task to his wife, Philippe Lesbahy. It was she who created this masterpiece of the early French Renaissance, of which the architectural style is halfway between those of the Middle Ages and influential Italian art.

The Château of Azay-le-Rideau was subsequently owned by a number of families, including several generations of the Marquis of Biencourt, a family of aesthetes who renovated the château to great extent in the 19th century, enhancing it from the inside out. This period also saw the creation of the landscape park, a remarkable example of the English-style garden. Acquired by the French state in 1905, the Château of Azay-le-Rideau is now managed by the French Centre for National Monuments. 

Une chambre Renaissance à Azay-le-Rideau

VISITING THE CHÂTEAU OF AZAY-LE-RIDEAU 

L. de Serres – CMN
Vue sur la pièce contenant le billard du Marquis de Biencourt

MUST-SEES AT THE CHÂTEAU OF AZAY-LE-RIDEAU

As soon as you arrive, stop to admire the monumental Honour Staircase with its rectilinear design, an innovative feature at the time and a true architectural gem. 
Your visit will also take you to the elegant and fully restored Biencourt Room, which testifies to the all the customs and etiquette of the 19th century. Let yourself be charmed by the atmosphere and decoration, reminiscent of 19th-century aristocratic homes. The bedchamber of Philippe Lesbahy, the 16th-century mistress of the house, will immerse you in a truly Renaissance style. This room features all the know-how of the time, such as bulrush braiding, an intriguing technique specific to Azay-le-Rideau that was used to clad and insulate the walls. Here, the refined interior decor, such as the hand-embroidered bed linen with gold and silver threads, has been recreated thanks to extensive work based on archive resources. 

ARE YOU PLANNING TO VISIT AS A FAMILY?

The Château of Azay-le-Rideau has everything you need, including a free children’s games booklet featuring the adventures of Sally the Salamander that will guide you to all the nooks and crannies of the château! A children’s audio guide is also available for children from 6 years upwards. During the school holidays, children’s visits and workshops are organised to allow them to discover Azay-le-Rideau in a fun way! 

WALK THROUGH THE HEART OF THE GARDENS OF THE CHÂTEAU OF AZAY-LE-RIDEAU 

Perched on an island and framed by the river Indre, the Château of Azay-le-Rideau seems to be floating on the water. It is surrounded by an eight-hectare English-style park, in which the meandering paths will lead you between woodland and the two water mirrors. This stunning garden was the desire of Charles de Biencourt, a botanical enthusiast and a lover of landscape design in general, who wanted to give the château a verdant romantic setting. His work was continued by his son who added exotic species to the garden, giving it a unique charm for its time (sequoia, cedar, American tulip tree, etc.). 

A large-scale restoration project restored the original splendour of the park while ensuring the renewal of its botanical collections. Today, the winding paths offer a broad palette of picture-perfect scenery and an ideal place to get away from it all. Stroll through the park, cross the little bridges and walkways over the river and soak up the peaceful and romantic atmosphere of this stunning setting! 

E. Vandenbroucque – CRT Centre-Val de Loire
Familles profitant des jardins du chateau d'Azay-le-Rideau

FAQ

Are there places to eat at the Château of Azay-le-Rideau?

Yes, you can have lunch or a snack in the “Le Lavoir” tearoom, which is open from Easter to late September. You can also take a break in the park of the Château of Azay-Le-Rideau for a picnic surrounded by nature with a view of one of the most beautiful châteaux in the Loire Valley! 

What is the best way to book a visit to the Château of Azay-le-Rideau?

Save time and prepare your visit to the Château of Azay-le-Rideau by booking your ticket via the link below! 

Book online

Opening times of Azay-le-Rideau

Horaires d’ouverture du 01 April au 30 June 2024
Lundi Ouvert de 09h30 à 18h
Mardi Ouvert de 09h30 à 18h
Mercredi Ouvert de 09h30 à 18h
Jeudi Ouvert de 09h30 à 18h
Vendredi Ouvert de 09h30 à 18h
Samedi Ouvert de 09h30 à 18h
Dimanche Ouvert de 09h30 à 18h
Horaires d’ouverture du 01 July au 31 August 2024
Lundi Ouvert de 09h30 à 19h
Mardi Ouvert de 09h30 à 19h
Mercredi Ouvert de 09h30 à 19h
Jeudi Ouvert de 09h30 à 19h
Vendredi Ouvert de 09h30 à 19h
Samedi Ouvert de 09h30 à 19h
Dimanche Ouvert de 09h30 à 19h
Horaires d’ouverture du 01 September au 30 September 2024
Lundi Ouvert de 09h30 à 18h
Mardi Ouvert de 09h30 à 18h
Mercredi Ouvert de 09h30 à 18h
Jeudi Ouvert de 09h30 à 18h
Vendredi Ouvert de 09h30 à 18h
Samedi Ouvert de 09h30 à 18h
Dimanche Ouvert de 09h30 à 18h
Horaires d’ouverture du 01 October 2024 au 31 March 2025
Lundi Ouvert de 10h à 17h15
Mardi Ouvert de 10h à 17h15
Mercredi Ouvert de 10h à 17h15
Jeudi Ouvert de 10h à 17h15
Vendredi Ouvert de 10h à 17h15
Samedi Ouvert de 10h à 17h15
Dimanche Ouvert de 10h à 17h15
Fermé. Ouvre à 09h30
37190 AZAY-LE-RIDEAU
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