18 Sep 2017

MADAME EN VACANCES IV: Castlemania

I just love castles! Maybe this feeling stems from the fact that we have so few of them here in Lithuania? Well, while I was in France, finding and visiting these fancy places was quite high on my "To See" list. This post, as I promised in my previous one, is all about fantastic castles and where to find them! (Couldn't stop my inner bookworm from this quote here!)




Visiting a castle is something out of ordinary. Now we are quite accustomed that these majestic buildings function as museums or hotels, but not that long ago they were home for generations. Luckily in France there are lots and lots of castles still owned by aristocratic families, but you can visit them too during various tours. 
   Castles that we got to see were not in the richest region of France,  so they are quite modest compared to the ones in the North of West. Nevertheless, I greatly enjoyed discovering and exploring them, especially the ones that are left in ruins. 


Château de La Roche







Château de La Roche was the first castle that we visited and it was so romantic! It dates back to XIIIth century and I bet that if the walls could talk, they'd tell you a lot... But wait! They do! During an amazingly well prepared audio guide tour, you are guided by the voices and memories of former owners and they tell lots of interesting things about the castle and its inhabitants. So it's quite worth to take an audio guide with you. That's how you'll get to know why there are any furniture in the castle or that owning a windmill could be a fatal thing. So, if you find yourself in Loire département, be sure to visit this tiny yet magnificent wonder!



The Château des Cornes d'Urfé 






If by any chance you are as passionate about the ruins as me and my husband, visiting Château des Cornes d'Urfé is a must! This castle is built in a remote area, at the height of 900 meters, so you know that there's going to be some spectacular panoramas waiting ahead. Equipped with QR codes these ruins also tell their story (in French). It is a calm place and you can wonder around in no hurry. There's lots of holes to climb through, and a big donjon to conquer so it's fun both for adults and kids. You can also have a picnic, there's even a fire pit. 



Château de Crussol








When we arrived at the Château de Crussol, I instantly christened it "France's Machu Picchu". In this case, abandoned was not only the castle, but also whole town! You can easily spend there more than half a day exploring impressive ruins. Set on fire, badly affected by the mine explosion, hit by a lightning the Château de Crussol still stands, overlooking the valley. 


Château de Vogüé






Château de Vogüé is an example of a castle still owned by the same family. Although it was turned into a museum, it still guards the spirit of the members of house Vogüé, especially in the magnificent "hanging garden". Spacious rooms are turned into exhibition halls where you can see the works of local artists or get to know the Vogüé family through their genealogy tree, short biographies, and all other miscellanea. 


Stay tuned for more posts about our journey! 



Photos © Vincas Razma

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