Like a crown perched on high, the royal fortress of Chinon peacefully reigns over the eponymous city. This tranquillity has been hard earned through the battles and victories the fortress has seen since Ancient times. Its military architecture is a testament to the pugnacity of the valiant knights that fought at Chinon, and their epic tales are related today using innovative scenography that brings the turrets and former residences to life through modern technology.
Built at the point where the regions of Anjou, Poitou and Touraine meet, the royal fortress of Chinon is located in a key strategic position that has been fought over since Antiquity. From its rocky promontory, it overlooks the surrounding area and has played a key role over centuries of history revealed to us today by its towers, royal residence and ramparts.

Although the site has been lived in since antiquity, it only started to gain prominence from the 10th century onwards under the counts of Blois and Anjou. The location had always been a strategic one, since the occupants could view the whole territory from these heights. Major changes were made in the 12th century, with the construction of Fort Saint-Georges, the Château of Le Milieu and Fort Coudray. Henry Plantagenet of England chose Chinon as the continental capital of his empire.

Defensive modifications were carried out in the 13th century during the war that opposed the Plantagenets and the Capetians, a war that was won by French King Phillip Augustus who reclaimed the fortress after nine months of siege. Touraine thus became French royal land, and remained so for centuries. New walls were built around Fort Saint-Georges and defensive towers were later added, mainly around the Fort de Coudray. During the 14th century the fortress was an important stronghold in the kingdom, and it was here that the Templar dignitaries were imprisoned and interrogated before they were judged and burned to death in Paris.

During the 15th century France was occupied by the English, leading the Dauphin to flee Paris and seek refuge in Chinon, which became his primary residence. It was during this period that the suites underwent their last alterations and played host to a major moment in French history, when Joan of Arc came to meet the king in his apartments to convince him of her good faith and ask him to give her the army to break the siege at Orleans. In the 17th century, the fortress was abandoned for more modern châteaux, and its old stones lay dormant until 1840, when the building was listed as a Historic Monument.

Since the beginning of the new millennium, the fortress has been subject to a massive restructuring project and major archaeological digs, while the ramparts and residences have been renovated to create a new visit route. After more than a thousand years of history, the fortress remains fully anchored in the modern day thanks to the new technology it has embraced, with videos, sound recordings, multimedia stations and iPads. Numerous interactive devices will accompany you on your visit, adapted for all audiences. The fortress has even taken on the unusual challenge of organising an Escape Game within its historic walls. 
Not to be missed

A 3rd-millennium fortress

From the year 1000 until the present day, the fortress has defied time itself! Today it demonstrates surprising youthfulness thanks to renovation work and technological additions that provide fascinating interactive visits.
Read more
Hidden treasure

Templar graffiti

The history of the Knights Templar is shrouded in mystery, but is partially revealed to us in Coudray Tower.
Read more

Joan of Arc at Chinon

The meeting in 1429 between Joan of Arc and the Dauphin, the future Charles VII, changed the course of French history.
Read more
News from the château
Practical information


Royal Fortress of Chinon
Avenue François Mitterrand
37500, CHINON
Ouvert en ce moment
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+ prices
From € 10.5 /  person
"Accueil Vélo"Qualité TourismeLa Loire à VéloDémarche d'excellence grands sitesVignobles et Découvertes
Things to see in the area
How to get there
The fortress is 20 on foot and 5 minutes by bus (route B) from Chinon train station, which is 2 hrs 30 minutes by train from Paris-Montparnasse. Chinon is 2 hrs 30 minutes from Paris by car via the A10 then A85 motorways, and is only 40 minutes from Tours. 

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