Europe has such a rich history, and the structures that remain today are a testament to it. Of the most popular, castles always draw in a lot of interest. Aside from the majestic architecture, the stories that survive each fortress is a mixture of history, romance, monarchy, and even perhaps a touch of legend. France alone has approximately 5,000 castles. Some of these structures are still in their glorious state, while others are sadly in a derelict condition. If your next holiday happens to be in France, here are several majestic castles to explore.
Château de Langeais
To start the list, we have a 15-century castle called the Château de Langeais. It stands almost unchanged after its predecessor fell into ruins after the Hundred Years’ War. The château, as it stands today, is recognized as one of the best examples of medieval architectural style. Inside the castle, guests will find a collection of tapestries and furniture pieces that date back to the 15th and 16th century. Swordplay reenactments are done by the staff to entertain those who tour the grounds. During the day, the working drawbridge is raised and lowered to the amusement of the crowds.
Château de Bonnaguil
In a state of somewhat ruin, sitting atop some rocks at the junction of the rivers- Lémance and Theze, is the Bonnaguil. This once stronghold was the last of the great feudal fortresses to exist before weaponry needed an inconspicuous appearance. Currently, the castle has the early 1600s style, with not one but seven drawbridges, a handful of gun ports, and an unknown total count of murder holes. A tour of the site is a mesmerizing, unique and dizzying adventure amongst spiral staircases, magnificent halls, and towers that afford unparalleled views.
Château de Chantilly
The renaissance period has always brought about dreamy images and picturesque landscapes. This palace happens to be a perfect example of one. The rather imposing structure is a pretty good semblance of a 19th-century renaissance castle. Everything from the stables which showcase an equestrian museum to the collection of manuscripts in the library and a vast selection of Italian art is on exhibit. Visitors can enjoy walking the grounds and learning about history through each carefully curated portion of this massive structure.
Château de Cheverny
If the Château de Cheverny strikes you as familiar, there is a big likelihood that you, like many others, have encountered it as a child. Marlinspike Hall in the Tintin books was modeled after it. Although the featured exhibition is minute in size, it has not failed to delight and pique the interest of those who view it. The manor house which has been in the same family for over six centuries has grandiose interiors, especially in its apartments. A tourist train ride, as well as a boat ride on the pond, makes the guided tour extra fun especially with little ones in tow. Hunting dogs are also kept in the kennel, and their exercise routines can be observed daily. Before you head off, don’t forget to visit the orangerie. It has been converted into a cafe for a bite of pastries and some tea.