Azay-le-Rideau Travel Guide

  • The river Indre just by the main bridge.
    The river Indre just by the main bridge.
    by pfsmalo
  • Azay-le-Rideau
    by pfsmalo
  • St Symphorien church.
    St Symphorien church.
    by pfsmalo

Azay-le-Rideau Things to Do

  • The Attic

    They allow visitors in the attic where the charpente, or the hand-crafted wooden frame supporting the roof, has been recently restored (2010-2011) and can be viewed alongside an exhibition explaining the complex techniques of its construction

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  • Royal Bedroom

    The Royal Bedroom was for those rare occasions when the King was in the neighborhood. It was occupied by Louis XIII when in 1619 he visited Francesca Souvré lady of Saint-Gelais of Lansac, future governess to the children of France. The bed, from the late seventeenth century, is a suspended canopy. There are also several amazing 17th century...

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  • Antechamber of the King

    Next to the great hall is the antechamber of the king. François I, Henri III and Louis XIII all stayed at the castle.

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  • The Great Hall

    As you come out of the stairs on the second floor you enter the Great Hall, where balls and feasts were once given. The salamander of François I is painted on the monumental fireplace and frieze of foliage under the moldings let imagine what would have been the decoration of the room once completed. The great room has among the most beautiful...

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  • The kitchen

    The kitchen has had the floor raised and served as a dining room in the 19th century. The large fireplace, well and stone sink had been covered with plaster and were uncovered during restoration by the state. Other than the raised floor, this was the appearance of the kitchen in the 16th century.

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  • The Biencourt Lounge

    The Biencourt Dining Room was located on the first floor. They had this very cool little case with flasks and glasses in a locking case meant to be packed up for travel.In the Biencourt Lounge it has a number of paintings which are not particularly memorable but interesting for various reasons. Following the Prussian troops' retreat, during the...

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  • The Billiards Room

    The Billiards Room Is decorated with Flemish tapestries from the mid-sixteenth century, the large and lush borders “crimp” short biblical scenes. All of the entrance rooms on the first floor were created by the Biencourts in the 19th century.

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  • Inside the Chateau

    Just inside the doors is an entrance vestibule and stairwell with pendant keystones and initial “B” for Berthelot. The Grand Staircase features ornate decoration, inspired by Italian architecture, such as pillars, pilasters, carved shells and medallions of the Kings and Queens of France. The architect of the straight Grand Staircase, a masterpiece...

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  • Entryway Doors of Château D'Azay Le...

    The entryway, which resembles a Roman triumphal arch, is decorated with the initials of Gilles Berthelot and his wife, Philippa Lesbahy, while the pediments overhanging each window bay are carved with the salamander and ermine of Francis I and his wife, Claude of France, in honor to the monarch of the time. I am not sure how the initials MB refer...

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  • Always visit the church

    Saint Symphorien is an ancient church near the chateau, an easy walk. The facade looks very old because much of it is. Some dates back to the ninth century and is in Carolingian style, not much mentioned in the guides. Most of the church is in the more familiar Romanesque style and the last addition was in 1603. However, there are some very modern...

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  • You go to Azay-le-Rideau for the Château

    Azay-le-Rideau is one of my favorite châteaux. We visited Azay and Villandry on our first trip to France and fell in love with both. They are completely different and equally wonderful. Azay is almost like a little wedding cake sitting on a mirror with the lake in front of it. If you come at night during the season, they have an illumination show...

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  • Visit Chateau Azay-Le-Rideau

    Beautiful inside and outside, the Chateau Azay-Le-Rideau is definitely worth visiting. It has a fairy tale feeling as you approach. You are waiting for people right out of the 16th century to walk out and greet you.The tour through the chateau is an interesting look at life in a chateau. This is a chateau that was lived in and they go all out to...

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  • Walk Through the Interior

    The interiors have 16 & 17C furnishings, beds and tapestries. The main fireplaces bear gilded Salamanders (for Francois I).The ballroom mantel was probably carved by Goujon. Not that Francois ever stayed here, but it was to show those who came to visit that the owner was close to the King. The kitchen is vaulted with ribbing which terminates on...

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  • Walk Around the Chateau

    The Chateau of Azay-le-Rideau is on the Indre River (a tributary of the the Loire). Its construction started in 1518 (architect E. Rousseau), adopting the new Renaissance innovations seen at Blois and Amboise along with the "in the river" style of Chenonceau. The rich Giles Berthelot and his richer wife Philippa directed the massive endevor (over...

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  • Château d’Azay-le-Rideau: Its Exterior

    “Because of the beauty of the building itself, the view of Azay-le-Rideau from the side of the Indre opposite the gate of entrance seems to me one of the most beautiful views of a perfect building, perfectly situated, that can be seen in all the world.”— from “Churches and Castles of Mediæval France” 1895 by Walter Cranston Larned (1850-1914)In...

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  • Château d’Azay-le-Rideau: Glimpsed From...

    “Azay is a most perfect and beautiful thing; I should place it third in any list of the great houses of this part of France in which these houses should be ranked according to charm.”— from “A Little Tour In France” 1881 by Henry James (1843-1916)Gilles Berthelot was a rich financier who served under Louis XII in the late 15th and early 16th...

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  • Azay-le-Rideau: Egilse Paroissial Saint...

    “We were tempted to linger so long in the grounds that we had only a short time to spend in the interesting eleventh century church which adjoins the park and, like the château, belongs to the State. The façade of the church is richly decorated with quaint statuettes and carvings, and here also is a seigniorial chapel with inscriptions of the...

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  • Château d’Azay-le-Rideau, Its Staircase...

    “Azay-le-Rideau, and elsewhere dotted throughout the district of Touraine, the delightful chateaux of the nobility bear witness to the memorable times when Francis held his court on the banks of the Loire.”— from “The Story of the Art of Building” 1901 By Percy Leslie WaterhouseAs you climb the castle’s staircase, look up and you will see several...

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  • Château d’Azay-le-Rideau, Its Interiors,...

    Le Salon Biencourt, Photos #1 to #3The windows, decorated with 16th and 17th century stained glass, open onto the river and the park, created by the Marquis de Biencourt. The large paintings and royal portraits date from the Valois dynasty, when much of the castle’s construction was completed. La Salle de Billard, Photos #4 & #5The Billiard Room is...

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  • Château d’Azay-le-Rideau, Its Interiors,...

    La Grande Salle, Photo #1Here in the Great Hall balls and feasts were held. Over the monumental fireplace is the symbol of François I, the salamander; also the molding of curling foliage gives a hint at what the decoration of this room was like before much of it was removed. Also some beautiful tapestries of the 16th and 17th centuries are...

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  • Château d’Azay-le-Rideau, Its Interiors,...

    L’Antichambre This antechamber serves the flat that was reserved for the King. In this room there are several portraits of the kings of France who have visited the castle; François I, Henri III, Louis XIII (photo #3), and his son Louis XIV (photos #1 & #2), over the fireplace. Its red curtains and furniture also recall why this is such a grand...

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  • Château d’Azay-le-Rideau: Its Chapel

    “The last priest in our country who theologically kept a woman in his parsonage, regaling her with his scholastic love, was a certain vicar of Azay-le-Ridel, a place later on most aptly named as Azay-le-Brulé, and now Azay-le-Rideau, whose castle is one of the marvels of Touraine.”— from the short story, “The Vicar of Azay-le-Rideau,” 1832 by...

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  • Château d’Azay-le-Rideau, Its Staircase...

    “Francis I and Louis XIV often came to Azay-le-Rideau, and it is easy to imagine they must have brought charming company with them.”— from “Churches and Castles of Mediæval France” 1895 by Walter Cranston Larned (1850-1914)Mr. Larned was mistaken; François I visited the castle only once. Because the château is so beautiful it is easy to imagine the...

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  • Château d’Azay-le-Rideau, Salamanders &...

    “A court without women, it is like a garden without flowers.”— François I (1494-1547)Although François I confiscated Château d’Azay-le-Rideau, it was never an official royal residence. The king visited once. The explanation for the many salamanders, the emblem of François that decorate the castle, could be flattery. By picturing the diminutive...

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  • Château d’Azay-le-Rideau, Salamanders &...

    “Nutrisco et extinguo” (“I am nourished by good and I extinguish evil.”)— the motto of François INO MODEST FELLOW Kings do not have to be modest, and Francis the First was not; he adopted the salamander as his personal emblem. The word salamander is Persian in origin: sam, meaning fire, and andarun, meaning within. Many salamanders live inside...

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  • Château d’Azay-le-Rideau: Its Coat of...

    “Azay-le-Rideau is the most brilliant expression of the French Renaissance, the most striking examples of the application of our ancient national art.”— Eugène Emmanuel Viollet-le-Duc (1814-1879)Along Victor Hugo, Eugène Emmanuel Viollet-le-Duc helped to raise awareness among their fellow French citizens about the sorry state of repair of the...

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  • Château d’Azay-le-Rideau, Its Rib...

    “Arrived at Azay we separated, my wife preferring to sketch a piece of the chateau, from a point just to the right of the little bridge which spans the moat, while I walked through the rooms. She chose the better part, for although there are a great many historical pictures of importance, the exterior is distinctly better than the interior, good as...

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Azay-le-Rideau Hotels

  • De Biencourt Hotel Azay-Le-Rideau

    I thoroughly enjoyed staying at this hotel. Located at the heart of Azay-le-Rideau, just a short...

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  • Le Grand Monarque

    3 place de la Republique, , Azay-le-Rideau, Centre

    Satisfaction: Excellent

    Good for: Solo

  • Hotel des Chateaux

    2 route de Villandry, Les Grandes Coutures, Azay-le-Rideau, 37190, France

    Satisfaction: Excellent

    Good for: Business

    Hotel Class 2 out of 5 stars

Azay-le-Rideau Restaurants

  • Family friendly restaurant with veggie...

    This is a nice quiet home-style restaurant with incredibly friendly service. There is an upstairs room in addition to the ground floor. The food is very good and not too expensive. Vegetarian choices are available if that's what you want.They recommend a reservation on Saturday nights and since Azay is a very small town, that is probably a good...

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  • Eat Here and Enjoy

    “At Azay-le-Rideau, and elsewhere dotted throughout the district of Touraine, the delightful chateaux of the nobility bear witness to the memorable times when Francis held his court on the banks of the Loire.”— from “The Story of the Art of Building” 1901 By Percy Leslie WaterhouseThis sweet little restaurant is très chic. The food is very good;...

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  • RELAIS DE LA SALAMANDRE

    In the centre of Azay-le-Rideau, there's a big square for parking your car. Around this square you can find a couple of pubs and restaurants. We had lunch in Relais de la Salamandre. You can sit outside in the big garden or inside in a nice interior. On the menu, you'll find salades, pizzas, crêpes ...

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Azay-le-Rideau Off The Beaten Path

  • hquittner's Profile Photo

    Visit St. Symphorien Church

    by hquittner Written Jul 21, 2007

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    St. Symphorien Church is on the road to the right of the Chateau entrance. The West front has a portion of wall from the 9C, (the right half) The pointed arch window was cut in much later. There are arches inside which are identified as early 11C carving and show surpising technic

    St. Symphorien Church (rt. half very old)
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    • Seniors
    • Family Travel

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Azay-le-Rideau General

  • Goner's Profile Photo

    A Great Example of aLoire Valley...

    by Goner Updated Jul 8, 2003

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Favorite thing: d'Azay-le-Rideau has all the best aspects of Loire castles; beautiful architecture, resplendent interior and lovely gardens. There is a terrace and promenade around the foot of the castle with an old chapel and outbuildings to explore. in 1810 Marquis de Biencourt had the low lying pasture land drained and set up as an English style park with large shade trees from around the world that helps make it so inviting. There is much to see and enjoy at this fairyland castle.

    Chateau d'Azay-le-Rideau
    Related to:
    • Castles and Palaces
    • Historical Travel
    • Architecture

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