The royal Fortress of Chinon: a stronghold since aintiquity

The crowning glory of the city, the Royal Fortress of Chinon peacefully surveys the streets below. Built on a rocky spur, it overlooks the Loire Valley and testifies to centuries of history hidden within the walls of its towers, royal apartments and ramparts. Come and discover its impressive military architecture and hidden treasures, artfully presented through innovative scenography!

Forteresse Royale de Chinon

The royal Fortress of Chinon: a fascinating history

The Royal Fortress of Chinon has withstood the test of time from the year 1000 to the present day. Its military architecture testifies to the tenacity of the valiant knights who fought at Chinon to defend one of the rare fortified châteaux in the Loire Valley. Although the site was occupied as early as Antiquity, it only began to resemble a fortress in the 10th century under the counts of Blois and Anjou.

David Darrault – ADT Touraine

The royal fortress of Chinon

Location has always been a strategic issue: from an elevated position, the occupants could survey the whole area.

The first defensive modifications were made in the 13th century during the war between the Plantagenets and the Capetians. It was at this time that Touraine became a royal region, remaining so for centuries. New walls were built around the Saint-Georges fort, followed by several defence towers including those of the Coudray fort.
The Royal Fortress of Chinon has hosted many an illustrious figure, including Templar dignitaries who were imprisoned within its walls, and Joan of Arc, who travelled to Chinon in 1429 to take the Dauphin Charles VII to be crowned after ousting the English from Orléans. From the 17th century, the fortress was gradually abandoned in favour of more modern châteaux and its ancient stones slept until 1840, when the site was listed as a historic monument.

Visiting the royal Fortress of Chinon

Gillard et Vincent – CRT Centre-Val de Loire
Vue aérienne de la Forteresse royale de Chinon

Must-sees at the royal FORTRESS of CHINON

In the 2000s, a new visit route was created at the Royal Fortress of Chinon. One room is dedicated to the history of the fortress, two rooms to Joan of Arc and three rooms to temporary exhibitions. The bedchambers of Eleanor of Aquitaine and Henry II Plantagenet and Charles VII’s Private Room have all been recreated.
During your visit, you will be able to admire all the fascinating features of the fortress, such as the largest defence tower, known as the Échauguette Tower, whose walls are an amazing 5 metres thick!

The Coudray Tower also houses hidden treasures in the form of graffiti carved into the stone by the Templars. It was here that the dignitaries of the Order, including the Grand Master Jacques de Molay, were imprisoned. The engravings represent religious themes, which were common among the Templars, and are an important testimony that will leave you full of admiration!
After more than 1000 years of history, the fortress is still in touch with its time thanks to the installation of modern technology. The visit route is enhanced by numerous interactive devices including videos, sound recordings and multimedia stations, and you can even take part in an escape game within the historic walls!

Ferry Van Der Vliet – Paris FvdV
Vue d'une tour de la Forteresse royale de Chinon
Vue en réalité augmentée sur la cour de la forteresse de Chinon

A fully immersive experience thanks to the Histopad

Of the many fun devices available at the Royal Fortress of Chinon, make sure you pick up a HistoPad, a tablet with a virtual reality visit app that offers a unique and fully immersive experience! Both fun and educational, the HistoPad gives you access to nine reconstructed rooms that have been either transformed or destroyed since their creation. You can also attend the famous “Recognition” with Joan of Arc and handle of weapons of war thanks to a collection of interactive objects. Your visit will become a true journey through time!


Are there children’s activities at the Royal Fortress of Chinon?

Yes! Don’t hesitate to pick up the free children’s map, “En visite avec Bertille”, at the reception desk. In addition, the Royal Fortress of Chinon has signed the “Môm’art” charter, which commits it to being a “joyous museum” where children have special rights, such as the right to visit at their own pace, the right to sit down, the right to ask questions and the right to see everything!

What is the best way to book a visit to the Royal Fortress of Chinon?

Save time and prepare your visit to the Château of Chinon by booking your ticket via the link below! 

Avenue François Mitterrand
37500 CHINON
Calculer mon itinéraire

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