Loire Valley

Chinon Castle

Strategically located on a rocky promontory overlooking the Vienne River, the Royal Fortress of Chinon gives the town of Chinon an imposing appearance.

Perched on a rocky promontory overlooking the Loire, the Royal Fortress of Chinon towers over the medieval village and is a true marvel.

Creeping up the hill along the cobbled lanes and reaching the castle with its black slate roofs, which contrast with the whiteness of the old white travertine houses, is a beautiful and picturesque experience.

This huge fortress became the prison for some members of the Templar Order before they were judged and burnt at the stake in Paris, and was the scene of the historic meeting between Charles VII and Joan of Arc.

Visiting the Royal Fortress of Chinon means walking in the footsteps of the great figures of European history, understanding the workings of a war machine, plunging into the heart of the Middle Ages or admiring the magnificent views of the Loire Valley.

Things to do at Chinon Castle

Perched on a rocky spur overlooking the town, the 500-metre long and 100-metre wide royal fortress of Chinon has played an important military and defensive role over the centuries. Built between the 10th and 15th centuries on commission of the Counts of Blois, Anjou and Plantagenet, this castle was the setting for important events such as the historic meeting between the King of France Charles VII and the heroine Joan of Arc.

The space of the fortress was structured in three distinct parts, called the three castles. If we look at the structure from west to east, the rocky promontory is divided by moats, which separate the three manors: Fort Saint-Georges, Chateau du Milieu and Fort de Coudra. Inside are the beautiful royal flats.

The Fort Saint-Georges

The entrance to the fortress is located here. This part of the site, which emerged from archaeological excavations between 2003 and 2010, revealed a palace dating back to 1160, to the time of Plantagenet.

The palace of Henry II the Plantagenet consisted of a very large building, which housed the great
space for the public audiences of the king of England, while private functions took place in the side areas, including a chapel and several inner courtyards, protected by a wall still visible today.

The Chateau du Milieu

The central part of the fortress is called the Chateau du Milieu: it is characterised by a large inner courtyard, bordered by a mighty wall interspersed with several magnificent towers.

The Clock Tower is soaring and consists of no less than five storeys: from its top there is a splendid view of the river and the town of Chinon. This is also the starting point of the roundabout walk, which can be covered entirely on foot.

The Tour des Chiens is a defensive bastion in the shape of a horseshoe. Built at the behest of Philippe Auguste as part of the reconstruction of the northern front, it was badly damaged during the siege of 1205. It housed three semi-buried levels equipped for archers and a terrace at its summit, connected to the patrol path. The tower owes its name to the royal dog kennel that stood at its base.

On the other hand, the Tour de l’Argenton, with its three semi-buried levels, was designed to withstand the artillery shots of the new firearms at the end of the 15th century.

The Royal Apartments

Once built in a U-shape around a large courtyard, today unfortunately only the south wing remains. Built at the behest of Duke Louis I of Anjou in 1370, in the 15th century the complex housed the flats of Charles VII and his wife Marie d’Anjou. And it was here, in 1429, that Joan of Arc met the king.

During the tour you can admire

The Fort de Coudra

The last part of the fortress consists of three more fortified towers:

Tickets

There are discounts for 7 to 17 year olds, while admission is totally free for children under the age of 7 and for unemployed people, journalists and tour guides who have documentation proving their status.

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Built on top of a rocky hill, the 10th-century Royal Fortress of Chinon was, in 1429, the venue for a historic meeting between Joan of Arc and the future king of France, Charles VII. Feel history unravel as you walk this huge medieval castle and its vast grounds on the banks of the Vienne river.

Admission + Escape game

Those who have time and love games can take part in the Monument Game, an escape game, i.e. an adventure in which players will discover the secrets of the Hundred Years’ War: they will have to interact with the different parts of the room, solve the puzzles of this scenario using logic, team spirit and their sense of observation. A unique opportunity to enter rooms usually closed to the public or to walk through secret passages.

The experience involves an extra charge over the cost of the entrance ticket. It lasts about 90 minutes, with a maximum of 6 players aged 12 and over accompanied by their parents.

Timetable

Opening times vary widely depending on the season.

Guided tours of Chinon Castle

To visit the fortress of Chinon and learn every aspect of its conformation, the visitor has several options. In addition to the classic booklet of explanations, the castle provides, included in the entrance ticket, an interactive histopad, which considerably enriches the discovery of the Royal Fortress of Chinon, with 360° 3D reconstructions.

In fact, by means of the electronic device, you can admire 8 rooms, today transformed or disappeared altogether, virtually reconstructed as they were originally shown: a spectacular 360° immersion in the heart of the 12th, 14th and 15th centuries. Together with multimedia terminals and technological equipment, you will be able to meet characters from history such as Joan of Arc and Richard the Lionheart and relive the atmosphere of the time.

Also included in the entrance ticket is a 1-hour guided tour, in French or English, which will explain all the secrets of the fortress.

How to reach Chinon Castle from Paris

The castle of Chinon dominates the town of the same name and can be easily reached on foot from the historical centre or by using a modern glass lift.

By car

The fortress is about two and a half hours by car from Paris: if you land at Paris Orly Airport or Paris-Charles de Gaulle Airport, and you use a rental car, you will have to follow the A10 motorway and then the A85 to Chinon

If, on the other hand, you arrive from Tours, following a route through the Loire Valley, it will take you about 40 minutes on the A85 motorway (exit No. 9 Chinon and then the D751).

By train

The fastest way to reach Chinon by train from Paris is to take a TGV from Paris Montparnasse station to Tours. From there you will be obliged to make a change by taking a regional train to the town of Chinon.

Chinon Castle Weather

What's the weather at Chinon Castle? Below are the temperatures and the weather forecast at Chinon Castle for the next few days.

Saturday 2
Sunday 3
10°
Monday 4
Tuesday 5
12°
Wednesday 6
13°
Thursday 7
13°

Useful information

Address

2 Rue du Château, 37500 Chinon, France

Contacts

TEL: +33 2 47 93 13 45

Timetables

    Open every day from 9:30 am  to  5:00 pm

Where is located Chinon Castle

Chinon Castle is located in the heart of Turenne, very close to the city of Nantes, the southern gateway to Brittany.

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Insights

Chinon

Chinon

The medieval town of Chinon is an enchanting village, dominated by the great royal fortress: its ancient alleys sloping down to the banks of the Vienne River are not to be missed.
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