Les Châteaux de la Loire are a unique density of castles along the river “Loire” in France to form the world’s largest concentration of castles. We can number about 3000 castles in the Loire Valley, nicknamed “Le Jardin de la France”! Started in the X century, most of the Châteaux de la Loire have been built or re-built in the Renaissance (XV-XVI). Those immense monuments served as Summer residence for the French Royalty or Novelty during the Renaissance. It is a true wealth of the French architectural and historic heritage. In 2000, the Loire Valley and les Chateaux de la Loire became a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Needless to say that these palaces offer a great opportunity for photos. Or do they? Often isolated and surrounded by trees, sometimes private property requiring a fee to have a chance for a look, all the châteaux do not offer the same advantage for a great photo. I drove more than 400 km to find out. Here are the best 5 chateaux de la Loire for photography.
5-LE CHATEAU DE VILLANDRY
📷 For his French gardens especially coming to life in Autumn / terrace overlooking the château and garden
History fact: On the 4 July 1189, England’s King, Henri II Plantagenet came to sign “la Paix de Colombiers” with Philippe August, then the king of France, to recognise England’s defeat.
4- LE CHATEAU D’AZAY-LE-RIDEAU
📷 Recognisable architecture / Reflection / colourful background (depending on season)
3- LE CHATEAU D’ AMBOISE
📷 Reflection / different angles of view / free access / interesting nightlights
History fact: François Ier invited Leonard de Vinci / in 1560, treaty signed which ignites the “French Wars of Religion”
2- LE CHATEAU DE CHENONCEAU
📷 Reflection / Sunset light on the east Facade of the castle / build on the river
History fact: served as a military hospital during the 1st World War
1- LE CHATEAU DE CHAMBORD
📷 Parc is access free-24/7 (parking cost 6€) / Reflection / Sunset light on the South façade / Considered the most magnificent Château de la Loire (good for your portfolio!)
History fact: First representation of “Le bourgeois gentilhomme” by Molière in 1670.
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