Châteaux near Orléans

There are a number of impressive châteaux to visit in the area surrounding Orléans, including the Château of Chamerolles, the Château of Gien and  the Château of Meung-sur-Loire. Most of them played host to key figures of French history such as King Francis I or Joan of Arc, the 'Maid of Orléans'. 

The Château of Chamerolles and the Château of Gien

The Château of Chamerolles is located near the forest of Orléans. This fine stately home was built in the 16th century under the close supervision of Lancelot du Lac and his family, who were inspired by their visits to Italy. Abandoned in the 20th century, it has been entirely restored and its architecture now prsents an interesting mix of medieval and Renaissance styles. 

The Château of Gien is situated overlooking the Loire and is one of the oldest of the Loire châteaux. The stone and brick building you can see it today was built for Anne de Beaujeu, the daughter of King Louis XI and the Countess of Gien. It contains a museum devoted to hunting, history and nature in the Loire Valley. Important historical figures who visited it in the past include King Francis I, Catherine de' Medici and King Louis XIV. 

The Château of Meung-sur-Loire and the Château of La Ferté-Saint-Aubin

The Château of Meung-sur-Loire was the residence of the Bishops of Orléans until the French Revolution, and reflects both medieval and Renaissance design, a feature that has earned it the nickname of the "Château with two faces". A remarkable building, it contains no less than 131 rooms. Parts of the castle not to be missed include the 18th century chapel, the grain stores, cellars, the Liqueurs Room and the kitchens. It too has seen its fair share of historic figures, including Francis I and Joan of Arc.

Situated a few kilometres to the south of Orléans and protected by moats, the Château of la Ferté Saint-Aubin is architecturally remarkable. From its attic down to its kitchens via the stables, an ambitious restoration campaign has recently allowed numerous rooms in the château to be opened to the public.

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