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Not to be missed: the château’s defensive architecture

The château of Sully-sur-Loire is the quintessential defensive castle from the early Renaissance period. Although its sturdy stone walls were enough to deter attackers by themselves, its defensive mechanisms made this fortress a truly formidable war machine.

The Château of Sully has served the military purpose of defending the river crossing since the 12th century, and has retained its imposing silhouette and intimidating fort in spite of multiple modifications.

Surrounded by large water-filled moats, the fortress is divided into two sections built on small islands. To the north is the huge keep flanked by large circular towers. The two eastern towers have preserved their machicolation and pointed roofs. Originally, the keep was only accessible via a drawbridge that is no longer present today. The roof was protected by a covered chemin de ronde (patrol route) where guards could launch stones from the machicolations and fire arrows through the archer slits. The small château completes the enclosure of the courtyard to the south of the keep. It is composed of residential suites and two towers, including the Béthune tower which was built by the Great Sully and is an impressive 15 metres in diameter with five-metre thick walls. It was designed to house artillery equipment and defend less well-protected areas. This impressive medieval fortress with its heavy defences stood guard over the east entrance of the Loire Valley. 
Accommodation nearby
Are you looking for a hotel, bed and breakfast, campsite, gite or traditional horse-drawn caravan? Discover all our accommodation ideas for your stay in the Loire Valley.