If you’re planning to fly through Langeais soon (about 20 kilometers west of Tours), you can’t skip the majestic castle in the heart of the city overlooking the right bank of the Loire. An architecture only competed by its historical richness, playful animations and a garden of medieval inspiration make it a place of temporality apart. Focus on the Château de Langeais’ Essentials.
An unstable story
The count of Anjou Foulques Nerra is at the root of this place’s first construction: a castrum surmounted by a wooden keep, erected in 994. The building was finally destroyed by the English during the Hundred Years War, enlarged by Richard Coeur de Lion then reconquered by Philippe Auguste in 1206. Nevertheless, a stone façade remains, later called ” Foulques Nerra keep.”
It was not until 1465 that restoration-enhancement began on the orders of Louis XI. Completed about twenty-two years later, the fortified castle witnessed its great historic case. Anne of Brittany married King Charles VIII at the age of 14 on a cold winter morning, 6 December 1491. The wedding had taken place at 7 a.m. It marks the end of Bretagne ‘s freedom, which is tied to the French crown.
Several families took ownership of this later, the estate being ceded by the crown as a reward. Abandoned and looted during the Revolution, several owners during the 19th century alternately destroyed the castle or rebuilt it. In 1922 and 1942 respectively the castle and the park were listed as historic monuments.
The Château de Langeais, rebuilt in the 15th century at a pivotal time between the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, offers features from both periods. On the garden side the reinforced façade gives way to an architectural elegance that is similar to the Renaissance.
Thanks to its drawbridge, its “machicoulis” and its round path you’ll find the jewels of a real castle. The high roofs and sometimes round, sometimes square or hexagonal towers ensure its architecture is original. Without counting the ruins of Foulques Nerra ‘s keep, reputed to be France’s oldest fortress.
The majestic and beautifully carved chimneys, which are popular in France with those of the Château de Bourges, are also to be admired.
To discover today
Besides the admirable construction, a visit to the Château de Langeais will give you a number of different pleasures today. Richly furnished to give you an almost lively spectacle, starting with the 15 visitable rooms. The re-enactment of royal wedding by Anne of Brittany will take you back to medieval times, as will the richly carved furniture and impressive tapestries.
Outside, the carefully maintained gardens precede the remains of the first Fortress that was destroyed. Beyond that, a perched hut with a breathtaking view of the park, a belvedere with a Loire view and a playground offer entertainment for young and old alike. Such environments are brightened up by animations and displays, completing audience joy.
If it’s not the best known of the Loire castles, there are many features in the Château de Langeais which make it a must to spend a day with the family. History lovers, architecture lovers or plain onlookers should find outstanding sights!