Saumur, the Castle!

And we came to Saumur, we have passed by it but always overlook in the multitude of choices of my belle France. Saumur is in the Maine-et-Loire department 49 of the région Pays de la Loire. It is right by the rivers, on the left bank the majestic Loire and on the right bank its tributary the Thouet river.  Here we have a wonderful castle of Saumur. as the thing to see here. A must.

We arrive by car ,and quickly moved into the Castle or Chateau de Saumur, and the parking nearby for free. It is a fairy tail castle right on a hill overlooking the city with great gastronomic restaurant next to it.

saumur

saumur

A bit of history of the castle  of  Saumur, gone thru many situations and saved on each, until the one we see today. The castle was in the possession of the Counts of Anjou, then the Plantagenêts and change into a royal fortress early in the 13C in the times of king Louis IX (Saint Louis). During the second half of the 14C the duke Louis Ier d’Anjou (brother of king Charles V) change it into a castle-palace of great beauty. The miniature of it is represented in the famous play of the three rich hours of the duke of Berry or « Très riches heures du duc de Berry » that will give it a precise image. King René, last of the dukes of Anjou lived here periodically, after his death in 1480 the castle comes back to the royal domaine.

saumur

The Château de Saumur has a double revolutionary staircase, built several centuries before the work of Leonardo da Vinci. It allowed nobles and servants to use the same staircase without ever crossing each other. The access to the belvedere allows to discover the south wing and to take this staircase with double revolution, a rare testimony of a controlled know-how. Note also the staircase of honor, with its 4 bays, is the only surviving witness of an element that also existed in the Louvre.

saumur

With political stability and religious tolerance, the city will gradually lose its interest, and the castle of its greatness.   From 1745, it is transformed into a simple prison and, in 1810, it becomes a state prison. The castle was decommissioned militarily in 1830 and transformed into a military arsenal until 1890. The underground room below the courtyard maintains a constant temperature and was once used to store provisions. Originally, it was totally enclosed but the west wing fell into ruin in the 17C and was not rebuilt. The first floor contained the main apartments and has fireplaces, floors and ornate windows, although the rooms are not currently furnished. The apartments were once very luxurious, furnished by Louis I of Anjou inspired by the conversions made by his brother King Charles V at the Louvre. The belvedere, accessible in summer, offers an exceptional panorama on the Loire and the city.

saumur

In 1906, the castle was bought by the City of Saumur to house the municipal museum, now labeled Museum of France. A rich collection of decorative arts currently occupies the first floor of the North and East wings. Part of the horse collection, collecting objects from antiquity to the early 20C is exhibited in the former abbey. In 1912, the collections of the municipal museum will be installed there. In 1919, the donation by Count Charles Lair of his collection allows the museum to present one of the beautiful sets of decorative arts of France, from the end of antiquity until the beginning of the 19C. A Horse Museum, also presents visitors with more than 1,500 pieces retracing the history of horse riding across ages and continents.

saumur

saumur

Some webpages to help you plan your trip here and you must are

The official castle webpage is here: http://www.chateau-saumur.fr/

Official city of Saumur on the castle: https://www.ville-saumur.fr/chateau

Tourist office of Saumur on the Castle

There you go another gem of my belle France. Hoping you have the chance to see it, another wonderful castle of the old valley of the kings now in Pays de la Loire region.

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!

 

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One Comment to “Saumur, the Castle!”

  1. Looks delightful, I should visit one day.

    Liked by 1 person

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