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Unusual: the royal stables

A magnificent building from the 16th century, the stables at the Château of Le Rivau are the oldest in France. The audiovisual projections on the vaulted walls bring back to life the ancient Le Rivau war horses and celebrate equestrian art in all its forms.
 
The stables at the Château of Le Rivau have always played an important role, and it was here that the war horses were broken in for the kings of France. Joan of Arc even came here in 1429 looking for war horses for the battle of Orléans.
 
In the 16th century, Gabriel de Beauvau built monumental stables here in a new style inspired by the Italian Renaissance and, for the first time, the stables were valued for more than their utilitarian function and became a venue of grandeur. On the ground floor, they could house up to thirty horses, while the first floor contained the grooms’ accommodation and served as storage.
 
The two wings of Le Rivau’s Renaissance stables comprise the oldest stables in France, and still have their original troughs and barrel vaults today. It is in this ancient setting that the current owners have devised seven audiovisual stories that take visitors back into the equestrian past of the Château of Le Rivau. The projections depict the equestrian art of days gone by and legendary horses, as well as the rituals of knighthood. The epic of Joan of Arc is re-told through stunning moving frescoes with accompanying audio, whose design has been based on illuminations and iconography documents.
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