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Remarkable New Film Lends Wings to the Royal Basilica of Cléry-St-André

When you leave the well-travelled Châteaux route, you may come across something so entirely new and stunningly beautiful, it literally boggles your mind. So let’s play hooky and make a little detour between Orléans and Chambord to visit the heart of the Basilica of Cléry-St-André, where you’ll get to see an extraordinary new film, ‘Basilica’, and meet a king.
 
The film will take you on a spectacular tour of the 15th century royal basilica, listed as a historic landmark, with a drone as your guide! You’ll wing your way from the dark recesses of its crypt, past previously unseen marvels, all the way up to its soaring celestial vault. Click here for a preview of this astonishing journey. 


 
It was here that Louis XI chose to be buried, far from the traditional land of the kings and closer to ‘his beloved Loire Valley’. Louis was one of the rare kings without an oversized ego, preferring to play the power game in the background. He even hated anything remotely ‘bling-bling’, wore rough and simple clothes and mixed with ordinary people, surrounding himself with valuable advisors of humble origin. The gambit paid off as Louis was able to overpower the mighty vassals of the time, and pave the way for a strong centralized monarchy. 
 
The basilica is open daily from 9 to 6:30 pm, and offers an interactive tour with the film and state-of-the-art media and communication tools.
 
Guided tours are also available on reservation: an unusual visit of the hollow-core staircase leading up to the oratory where Louis XI, who lived in fear of being assassinated, could observe without being seen. A tour of the bell tower where the bells peal morning, noon and night, ringing out the famous Carillon de Vendôme, a 15th century children’s ditty and the oldest known French song. Artists across the ages and the world have interpreted the haunting melody. Click here for one particularly moving rendition: it’s well worth a listen! 
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Things to do nearby:
Stop at the charming little town of Meung-sur-Loire to visit its famous ‘two-faced château’ and 7-hectare park. Treat yourself to a tour on the ‘Coeur de Loire’s’ traditional river boat, moored at the pier: you can even spend a night on board, and fall asleep to sound of gently lapping waves!
 
Stroll through the narrow, winding streets of Beaugency, a lovely medieval city and one of ‘France’s Most Beautiful Detours’, with its 15th century château, half–timbered houses, and little squares bright with flowers and colourful café terraces. You’ll get a sweeping view of the river and the town bridge, the oldest on the Loire.
 
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.