Castles of the Loire Valley
The Loire castles are over 300 castles located in the Loire valley and in transverse valleys, in the center of France.
The castles were built starting from the 10th century when the kings of France, followed by the court nobility, chose the valley for their summer residences.
By virtue of the presence of the large number of castles, the valley itself has been declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.
Towards the middle of the 16th century, Francis I of France had brought the center of power back to Paris from the Loire valley and the great architects left the area with him. However, the valley continued to be the favorite holiday resort of the court and the nobility. With the rise of Louis XIV in the mid-17th century, the capital became the permanent seat of the royal castles, including with the construction of the Château de Versailles. However, those who enjoyed the favor of the king and the wealthy bourgeoisie continued to renovate the castles or built new ones as summer residences in the valley called the garden of France.
The French Revolution saw many of the châteaux destroyed or plundered.
Map of all coordinates: OpenStreetMap Bing (max 200) - Export: KML GeoRSS microformat RDF
Wikimedia Commons contains images or other files on the Châteaux of the Loire
Wikivoyage contains tourist information on Castles of the Loire
Official site of the Loire Castles, on castelli-loira.it.
(EN) Tourism site in the Center region, on visaloire.com (archived from the original url on August 28, 2005).
(EN) Directory of Loire Valley chateaux, on chateaux-de-la-loire.fr.
Official tourism website for the Pays de la Loire region
Official site of the Loire Valley, a World Heritage Site