Meung-sur-Loire: A Great Little Town with a ‘Two-Faced’ Château
Nestled on the banks of the Loire only 17 km from Orleans and strategically located on the ‘La Loire à Vélo’ cycling trail, Meung-sur-Loire is a cheerful little town with half-timbered houses and flowers galore. It’s especially lively on Sundays, market day, when farmers drive in from the countryside to peddle local produce from the area’s many orchards and vineyards.
Once a key port of call for the Loire Navy, whose boats plied the river bringing precious commodities inland, Meung-sur-Loire remains a waterfront-based town. Follow the banks of the Promenade des Mauves, 3.5 km man made river that once powered the area’s 38 water mills and is now an idyllic setting for a quiet stroll.
Don’t miss the 13th century château, often called the ‘two-faced’ château because of its medieval façade on one side, and 18th century front on the other. Privately owned but open to the public, you can tour the attractively furnished building from the attic on down to the chapel and gloomy, dank underground dungeons with their terrifying instruments of torture.
This sweet little town and its château have hosted many eminent figures through the ages: from King Francis I to Joan of Arc. It features in Alexander Dumas’ classic ‘The 3 Musketeers’ and as the country home of George Simenon’s renowned Inspector Maigret, who spends his time fishing when he’s not out solving all those infamous crimes. Like him, you’ll find Meung-sur-Loire a great place to enjoy ‘la belle vie’.
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