The castle of Azay-le-Rideau was built on an island in the Indre River under the patronage of King Francis the First. A subtle blend of French tradition and innovative Italian decor, it is an icon of the new art of building in the Loire Valley in the 16th century. Its successive owners have helped to make it the most architecturally harmonious treasure in the Loire Valley. In 1905, the castle came under State ownership.
While Chambord and Blois were royal residences, other architectural gems from the early 16th century were built for large financiers of the crown, such as Gilles Berthelot, the commissioner of the Château of Azay. Lire la suite de « Azay-le-Rideau »
Cancale lies along the coast to the east of Saint-Malo. It is a picturesque fishing port popular with visitors, many of whom are drawn by its reputation as the « oyster capital » of Brittany. Though a small town, it is well served by a large number of restaurants, many specialising in seafood.
Corbie is on the territory of the Val de Somme, in Picardie. The city was built around the abbey, founded by Queen Bathilde around 660. The monks of the abbey invented in their scriptorium a new writing (the « caroline »), easier to read that became the tiny letters used in the printing press. The monks have created an important library. Some of the manuscripts are kept at the Amiens Municipal Library, the National Library in Paris and even St. Petersburg in Russia.