Regions of France: Loire Valley

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Regions of France: Loire Valley
Regions of France: Loire Valley
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The Loire Valley is one of the most picturesque places on earth. Luxurious parks with many winding paths, meadows full of bliss, beckoning to lie down on their silky grass cover, majestic castles that look like a wedding cake or shudder like medieval dungeons - all this has made the region a place of pilgrimage for millions of tourists. The secluded location contributed to the flowering of not only nature, but also art. Here the titan of the Renaissance Leonardo da Vinci worked, staged his plays by Moliere, searched for plots and entourage for the novels of A. Dumas. Today, the Loire Valley is one of the few places where you can look into the shy face of real France. Crowded, tourist-attacked Paris has long lost its true French charm. Only in such a slightly naive, patriarchal province has the charm of a grassroots nation still been preserved.

Loire Valley

Untouched Loire Valley (France): Promised Land

Geographically, this region is located in the very middle of the country. impenetrable thickets of the forest and a smallthe depth of the Loire River, too shallow for ships, sheltered it from the wars that tore the country apart in the Middle Ages. The most famous and large-scale battle took place near the walls of Orleans, glorifying the heroic Joan of Arc. Perhaps that is why the Loire Valley has been preserved in its medieval beauty. Time seems to stop here.

With Paris in close proximity to the region, the Loire Valley was the center of aristocratic life. Literally at every step here you can meet at least a small, but real castle. According to rough estimates, there are only about three hundred of them. Royally opulent and simple, the castles of the Loire Valley make this land look like a fairyland.

Castle outpost of Amboise

Being at the crossing of the Loire, Amboise Castle was of great strategic importance. This is a real military fortress with many towers, massive gates and impregnable thick walls. At the same time, thanks to the harmonious combination of Gothic and Renaissance elements, this castle is one of the most beautiful buildings in France. Leonardo da Vinci is buried in its chapel, decorated with intricately carved bas-reliefs and colorful stained glass.

Loire Valley, France

Castle labyrinth of Chambord

This is one of the most famous structures in the Loire Valley. The photo of this castle most often adorns guidebooks to the main attractions of the region. The architect of this eccentric building was Domenico de Cortona. According to rumors, Leonardo da Vinci was also involved in its creation.The construction cost the treasury dearly, but King Francis I did not stop even when it was completely empty, ordering the gold of his subjects to be melted. You can easily get lost in it, its internal arrangement is so intricate and elegant: 426 rooms, 77 stairs, 282 fireplaces. This ingenious architectural decision was taken to ensure that numerous favorites could not collide with each other, flanking from the king's bedroom to their own. Around the castle is a luxurious park, where Louis XIV loved to walk so much. Chambord has been under the protection of UNESCO since 1981.

Castles of the Loire Valley, France

Chenonceau - home of beauty

This charming building was owned almost exclusively by women: queens, favorites and just the wives of we althy landowners. One of his most famous mistresses was the beloved of the king, Diana de Poitiers. It was she who ordered to build a bridge across the river to it, which makes it seem that the castle is floating above the water. Intellectual receptions were often held here, artists, writers and musicians were welcomed. This could not but leave its mark on the interior of the castle. In its halls you can find a collection of paintings by Poussin, Rubens, as well as Flemish tapestries of the 16th century.

Paris, Loire Valley

Cheverny - a stronghold of family values

Castles in the lands of the Loire Valley were literally designed for hunting fun. One of the clearest examples is Cheverny. For centuries, it has been passed down from generation to generation of the same family. For some time, however, in itthe favorite of the king, Diane de Poitiers, lived, but the rest of the time it was carefully kept by the descendants of an ancient family. That is why the interiors and the building itself are so well preserved. Original paintings from the time of Louis XIII, a trophy room with deer antlers, a kennel with hundreds of hunting dogs - everything here remains the same as it was many centuries ago.

Castles in the lands of the Loire Valley

Reviving the Middle Ages: Langeai Fortress

This castle is one of the earliest surviving witnesses of the French Middle Ages. Its walls keep the memory of legendary historical figures such as Richard the Lionheart and Fulk the Black. Here you can see with your own eyes what has long sunk into oblivion: gothic chandeliers, a drawbridge (which still functions!), tapestries of the 15th-16th centuries, ancient sculptures and paintings. But the pearl among its exhibits is, of course, a wax composition depicting the marriage of Charles VIII and Anne of Brittany. It was this event that marked the beginning of the union of Brittany and France.

Castles of the Loire Valley

Fairytale castle of Usse

This castle is closely associated with literature. According to legend, Charles Perrault imprisoned The Sleeping Beauty in his famous fairy tale. In one of the towers, there are now several wax figures illustrating episodes from there. Chateaubriand worked in it on his "Grave Notes", and Prosper Mérimée admired its beauty so much that he insisted that in 1861 the castle of Usse be included in the state list of historical monumentsFrance.

Loire Valley, photo

To help the traveler

The Loire Valley can be viewed from three cities: Blois, Tours and Angers. The journey from Paris by train takes only about an hour. For further travel, it is best to rent a car, as only this vehicle will allow you to fully enjoy the picturesqueness of these places. If you like outdoor activities, use a bicycle, since all the conditions in the region have been created for this: a large number of bicycle paths will allow you to move around quite comfortably. In some castles, you can stay overnight if you do not have time to get to the hotel.

The best time to visit the Loire Valley is considered early autumn - the main flow of tourists will subside, and cafes and restaurants will already have wine, which this fertile land is famous for.

Wine break

The Loire Valley is famous not only for its castles and natural beauties, but also for its excellent wines. Approximately one third of all wine production in France is produced in this region. The reason for special pride is the incredibly diverse palette of wines produced. The variety of microclimates allowed the French to grow so many varieties of grapes here that an inexperienced sommelier can be timid from just listing them. The banks of the Loire River are divided into zones according to the types of soils, of which there are only four. This is what affects the variety of berries. In fact, all wines can be conditionally divided into three groups according to the place of their production - Upper, Central and Lower Loire. The grapes of each territory are inherentits own special aroma and taste.

Vineyards in the Loire Valley

There are not many places left on earth where you can enjoy the untouched beauty of the past. Modern buildings are gradually replacing historical structures, drowning out their majestic appearance with their typified architecture. You can feel the breath of time by visiting the magnificent castles of the Loire Valley. France is rightly proud of this region, which has long become a Mecca for tourists.

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