Chinon and the Vienne river

Chinon is located in the heart of the Val de Loire, 47 km (29 miles) southwest of Tours and 305 km (189 miles) south west of Paris. It extends on both the banks of the Vienne, with the historic town mainly on the northern bank, at the foot of the medieval castle.
The traditional province around Chinon, Touraine, became a favorite resort of French kings and their nobles beginning in the late 15th and early 16th centuries. The Renaissance châteaux which they built new or erected on the foundations of old fortresses earned this part of the Loire Valley the nickname « The Garden of France. » Chinon played an important and strategic role during the Middle Ages, serving both French and English kings. At that time, Chinon developed, especially under Henry II (Henry Plantagenêt, Count of Anjou, and crowned King of England in 1154). The castle was rebuilt and extended, becoming his administrative center and a favorite residence. It was where court was frequently held during the Angevin Empire. (Wikipedia)


Water Water Everywhere.


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 »