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“A must”

Forteresse royale de Chinon
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Small-Group Loire Valley wine tour from the town of Tours
Ranked #2 of 50 Fun & Games in Loire Valley
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: The royal fortress of Chinon has been built between Xth century and XVth century. It has been restaured on XXIth century. Come and discover all of famous figures of the fortress : the Plantagenêts, the Kings of France Philippe Auguste, Charles VII and Joan of Arc. Full price : 8.50 € Reduced rate : 6.50 € Free for children less than 7 years.
Useful Information: Activities for young children, Activities for older children, Wheelchair access, Bathroom facilities
Reviewed March 22, 2014

La Forteresse had a major makeover a few years ago. But it has been beautifully done. Impossible to tell where the original stonework ends and the new begins. Steeped in history, where important event happens, rather than being architecturally glamorous. Very good guided tours as well as good audio options. Views are wonderful from across the Vienne. Dominates Chinon's skyline. Definitely one to visit.

1  Thank Mixiewing
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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186 - 190 of 811 reviews

Reviewed March 18, 2014

Besides its place in history with Joan of Arc,the House of Anjou and the English Crown...its sad that the remains are almost as fragmentary as those of Richard the Lion- heart's great castle in Normandy.
Its a natural redoubt protected by high cliffs to the south and steep gullies to the north and west. It is this that impresses above all. The town and river offer fine views of its commanding and spectacular site overlooking the fertile countryside which produces a fine,light red wine.
Apart from the walls and various towers,the principal survivor is the shell of the Royal Lodgings overlooking the Vienne waters.
Its a good place to explore its three medieval fortresses seperated by deep ditches. We liked it very much.

Thank Eli B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 19, 2014

The forteresse includes a totally modern video exhibit about the history of the fortress. We have never seen anything like it. And if you also visit the Abbaye de Fontevraud, you can purchase a discount ticket.

Thank Texasgirl68
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 1, 2014

Wonderful medieval fortress abvee the Loire city of Chinon. Actually ist three Castles. The city is as old as the fortress and it is a nice expereience to stroll through the small streets. there are many little Restaurants and Bistrots. Best is to follow the Loire from one Castle to the next.

Thank Sabine H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 10, 2013

Approaching the Chateau/castle up a steep hill, there's a car park on the left opposite the entrance, with an upper overflow area if the main car park gets too crowded. Directly opposite is a small, modern bakery that is a hive of activity all day, it seems. They do some pretty good sandwiches and cakes too, so if you feel peckish pre-visit, pop in here and pull up a stool in the window and have fun watching people try to park! 
The complex is approached through a thoroughly modern entrance complex, a truly French-style industrial concrete and glass affair containing the castle shop, reception and some pleasant toilets - it does make a difference to find facilities clean and tidy. Once past the tills, you walk over a high causeway and through an impressive keep, above which is the old treasury, towering away to a superb viewpoint above… Indeed, views are extensive and magnificent from most of the castle walls, looking out over the rooftops of Chinon and the beautiful Vienne, a tributary of the Loire.

The main castle buildings that remain are in good repair; Joan of Arc came here around 1429 for a meeting with the Dauphin (the future Charles III) - you can still see the remains of one side of the main hall where this historical meeting took place - it sends a strange shiver down one's spine to think how her story ultimately unfolded... 
There's an interesting multimedia presentation in each of the rooms of the chateau, detailing the history of the castle, and the villainy and treachery that accompanied it all! 
And then there are the gaudy plastic dragons....  For the life of me, I do not see why these were chosen to be installed at Chinon Castle - it's impressive enough as it is, but the assumption is that they were there to keep small children happy - they just seem somewhat incongruous and cheapen the hard work that has obviously gone into restoring this impressive fortified chateau.
In summary, Chinon Castle is well worth a visit if you're in the area. Afterwards, why not take a drive into Chinon itself, park in the town's large central car park and wander the streets for a couple of hours, taking in the brocantes and bars - it's a lovely little place. But please, get rid of those dragons...

Thank ChappieDog
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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