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“Fascinating chateau of historical importance” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Royal City of Loches

Royal City of Loches
5 place Charles VII, Loches, France
+33 2 47 59 01 32
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Ranked #1 of 5 Attractions in Loches
Type: Castles, Historic Sites, Cultural
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Owner description: In the royal city, youy can visit the dungeons and a royal lodge.
Senior Contributor
31 reviews 31 reviews
10 attraction reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
“Fascinating chateau of historical importance”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 3, 2012

This chateau is a must for anyone interested in the chateaux of the Loire. Its aspect is impressive as it can be seen perched high on cliff from miles around. The approach is through the medieval town of Loches and it is necessary to pass through the ancient gateways and climb the hill to enter the chateau. Tours are available (in French) but you are also free to find your own way around with the helpful printed guide you are provided with. There are excellent views of the surrounding countryside from the courtyard. Inside the rooms are interestingly set out with furniture, weapons and armour and one room is devoted to Agnes Sorel, mistress of Charles VII and another room contains a plaque commemorating the meeting of Charles with Joan of Arc at which she told him to go to Reims and be crowned King of France. The entrance ticket also allows entrance to the Donjon which is also well worth a visit.

Visited September 2012
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179 reviews from our community

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English first
Herentals, Antwerpen, Belgium
Top Contributor
129 reviews 129 reviews
111 attraction reviews
Reviews in 98 cities Reviews in 98 cities
151 helpful votes 151 helpful votes
“To be included in any tour of Loire castles !”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 28, 2012

The cité royale de Loches is a medieval village protected by an elliptic enclosure with a length of 2 km. Access is via the Royal Gate (fifteenth century), located on the north side.


The oldest building on site is the church of Saint Ours, commissioned by Geoffroy Grisegonelle in 965 to house a relic : the belt of the Virgin Mary. The present edifice however dates from the twelfth century.

The church has a particular look, boasting two bell towers separated by pyramid shaped cupolas. Inside visitors can admire the sculpted tomb of Agnes Sorel, famous mistress of king Charles VII of France.


The south side of the cité royale de Loches is protected by a medieval fortress.

The heart of the structure is a massive three storey medieval keep, built by Foulques Nerra (early eleventh century). Metal stairways and platforms allow visitors to view its floors and climb all the way to its top.

The keep is surrounded by a double rampart (not to be scaled). The outer rampart (second half twelfth century) boasts three massive towers. To admire their full strength you need to take a walk around the cité royale.

In the fifteenth century the defences of the medieval fortress were reinforced by the addition of the ravelin (= triangular advanced gun defence), the keep of Louis XI and the Martelet prison tower.

In the keep of Louis XII you can admire a torture chamber, prisoner graffiti and a very educational scale model of the medieval fortress.

In the Martelet prison tower you can admire several prison cells as well as graffiti and frescoes added by famous prisoner Ludovic Sforza.

An outstanding guided tour (lasting about one hour) provides detailed information about the history of the fortress and about the judicial and penal system in the middle ages.


The north side of the cité royale is dominated by the royal palace (fifteenth century), originally a mere hunting lodge.

Another outstanding guided tour (lasting about one hour) will take you through a number of modestly furnished rooms related to famous personalities who visited the castle.


Being a history enthusiast with a passion for medieval military architecture I ended up spending an entire day at the cité royale de Loches. It was the undisputed highlight of my one week tour of Loire castles.

Visited August 2012
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Drogheda, Ireland
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“Small but facinating”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 17, 2012

We slipped it in as we had time left at the end of the day, so glad we did. The rooms are magnificent, well laid out and informative. Learn something: go here.

Visited September 2012
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Deux-Sevres, France
Top Contributor
143 reviews 143 reviews
58 attraction reviews
Reviews in 82 cities Reviews in 82 cities
52 helpful votes 52 helpful votes
“A amazing experience”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 7, 2012

We had read about this medieval walled town but the experience was amazing. Inside the walls you visit three main buildings, the church, Donjon and royal palace which are all in the old citadel . The old town is also worth wandering around.

Visited September 2012
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Amsterdam
Top Contributor
78 reviews 78 reviews
20 attraction reviews
Reviews in 25 cities Reviews in 25 cities
47 helpful votes 47 helpful votes
“Charming to see”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 20, 2012

It was an on and off sunny day, so we decided to visit Loches (unfortunately it was Sunday and most shops were closed) based on a suggestion from our B&B host. Loches is a nice, sweet medieval town to walk around and the idea of an actual royal village (so the royals could wander about freely) was quite an experience. To visit the their staying chateau (the Logis royal) you pay 7,50 which includes entrance into the Donjon (the fortress/prison). Compared to the large-scale set up Chateau de Chenonceau, both castles in Loches were much more at a relaxed pace (a fraction of the people wondering about in Chenonceau), and the buildings actually made a more lasting impression on us as it was more varied, the Donjon being used for prisoners during the revolution and such. Not too big to wonder around, it is allowed to bring food in (contrary to Chenonceau) and we ate our treats from the boulangerie while overlooking the town (beautiful view from the terrace!).

Visited July 2012
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
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