Visit Chateau Saumur in the Loire Valley

Photo of Chateau Saumur

Chateau Saumur visitor guide and history

A visit to Saumur will start from its famous castle, the origins of which date back to the mid-tenth century. After the conquest of the Earl of Anjou Fulk ‘the Black’, the castle was destroyed by a fire, but it was soon rebuilt and reinforced with more massive walls, surmounted by a square tower.

Around the beginning of the thirteenth century the castle passed to Philip Augustus (1165-1223), and under Louis IX (1214-1270) it was again strengthened especially around the tower with a rectangular enclosure with four large round towers at the corners. To improve the defences,  a second set of walls was erected between the castle and the walls.

In the mid-fourteenth century the castle underwent several renovations. Louis I of Anjou (1339-1384) strengthened the defences and turned the chateau into a princely residence - the round corner towers were replaced with polygonal towers, while the central tower was demolished and extensions were implemented in the north wing of the castle.

Further works took place in the 14th century - the north tower was flanked by a smaller square tower, and the boardroom was painted by some of Van Eyk’s apprentices, while the work of enlarging and embellishing continued throughout the sixteenth century.

During the reign of Louis XIV, the fortress was turned into a prison, and this function continued in the Napoleonic age, during which there were several collapses, which in part undermined the structure.

In the twentieth century restoration work began at Saumur castle.

You can now see the gardens and rooms equipped with finds and evidences of secular life of the castle itself. The castle also houses the Museum of Decorative Arts (with enamels and ceramics) and the Museum of the Horse.

Map of Chateau Saumur & places nearby

Castle Town village

Selected places to visit in or near Chateau Saumur, Loire Valley