Explore five Loire Valley Châteaux in a completely new way!

Five châteaux in the Loire Valley offer, or will soon offer, the HistoPad, a tablet which provides a new, virtual visit experience. Officially launching in spring 2019 for the 500-year anniversary of the Renaissance, the “Loire Valley Châteaux Augmented Tour” includes the prestigious châteaux of Chambord, Blois, Loches, Amboise and Chinon!

A virtual immersion into the history of the châteaux

With new, innovative technology, the HistoPad allows you to virtually immerse yourself into certain areas of a historic site. Available at the entrance to each site, you can take it around with you while you explore the historic monument. Electronic terminals are located along the route. Simply present your tablet to upload a virtual animation of the room. For more information, you can navigate on the screen to discover the space as it would have been during the Renaissance, or even during earlier centuries. Interactive points provide information on historical events, architectural details, objects and historical figures related to the space. Thanks to this augmented reality, the Histopad gives you a better understanding of the sites and their history.
With simple and intuitive navigation, the Histopad is easy to use for all visitors, whether or not they are familiar with new technologies. For an even more fun and interactive visit, children can take part in a treasure hunt. The aim is to collect gold coins and other objects hidden in the virtual sets.
The HistoPad is already available at certain sites. By spring 2019, the five Loire Valley châteaux which make up this “augmented tour” will be fully equipped with HistoPads. 

The Château of Chambord, the masterpiece dreamed up by François I.

This château was the first of the five sites to adopt the Histopad. Immerse yourself in the François I era at the Château of Chambord. It was this king who commissioned construction of the château. Today, eight rooms in this architectural gem have been reconstructed as they would have been in the 16th century. Amongst them are the majestic stateroom and the king’s courtroom, as well as the bedroom which was specially laid out for Charles Quint when he visited the château in 1539. Welcoming the emperor to Chambord was a planned manoeuvre. François I wanted to dazzle his rival with his wealth and power and Chambord ensured that the ploy was successful!
Interactive maps of the château are also available on the tablet to guide you around the place. You can also consult the tour guide which will take you on an audio guided tour through the 24 rooms open to the public, revealing their history and collections.


Discover the Royal Château of Blois from all angles! 

The Royal Château of Blois was built over four different eras. Over the centuries, many kings, queens and illustrious figures walked its corridors. The HistoPad is a real asset for exploring its historical riches. It immerses you into the past with easily accessible and accurate historical 3D reconstructions of the château over the four eras.
With this application, you can move objects and get up close to works of art. Uncover the secrets of decor, customs of past centuries and the lives of sovereigns and their courts. You can also explore the “invisible” parts which are no longer there, hidden behind walls, or are too far away to be seen by the naked eye. Be transported to the 16th century in the apartments of Louis XII, the kitchens of François I or in the Salle des Etats Généraux. A real journey through time!


Loches: a journey back to the 11th century 

At the Cité Royale de Loches, you are invited to go back in time to the 11th century. Nine rooms have been reconstructed across the three towers. Go back 500 years with a visit to the bishops' dungeon or journey to the 15th century with a visit to the guard room or the Duke of Alençon’s cell. Go to the castle’s keep which, in the 11th century, used to be divided into floors. On the HistoPad screen, watch the layout and decor of the cellar, the great hall and the count’s bedroom come to life before your very eyes!

Another highlight of this "augmented tour” is the reconstruction of the siege in the château’s courtyard in 1205. When the château was occupied by King John of England, King Philippe-Auguste of France laid siege to it for a year! The tablet lets you experience the siege from the point of view of the English and reveals the traces of the combat that are still there today.

The Royal Château of Amboise also welcomes the HistoPad 

Discover the Royal Château of Amboise in a whole new light! This is now possible thanks to the HistoPad, which is available from 1st February 2019. With 3D reconstruction of the rooms and decor, you can see the masterpieces, now scattered in museums all over the world, return to their original settings in the château's rooms. Watch scenes of life at the French court brought to life before your very eyes and observe how illustrious visitors were invited into the Council Chamber, a symbol of royal power, to obtain an audience with the sovereign.
You can also discover what the exterior of the château would have looked like in past centuries. In the mid-16th century, during the time of Catherine de’ Medici, the château had many buildings which have now been replaced by gardens. With the tablet, they reappear as if by magic and give you a new and unusual perspective of the place.

In spring, the Royale Fortress of Chinon will be the last to join the team! 

Not long to wait: as of 1st April 2019, the Royale Fortress of Chinon will be equipped with the HistoPad! Experience a 3D and 360° “immersive” visit of the eight reconstructed rooms from the 13th to 15th centuries. Among them, the Reconnaissance room, the guard room and the king’s kitchens. You will also be able to see an “augmented” interpretation of the collections in certain rooms.
Enthusiasts of history and ballistics will also be able to use the tablet for a 3D manipulation of the machines and artillery items used at the time. Augmented reality is the best way to really understand all the particularities of historical weapons like catapults, mangonels and cannons!

Chinon will thus be joining Amboise, Loches, Blois and Chambord in the “HistoPad adventure”.
With this fun and interactive device, you can discover the historical and architectural riches of these five Loire Valley châteaux from a whole new perspective. A leap back in time!