Visit Chateau de Sully-sur-Loire in the Loire Valley
Chateau de Sully-sur-Loire visitor guide and history
Sully-sur-Loire is situated to the south-east of Orleans, a little outside the region most famous for the 'Loire Valley Chateaux'. The famous castle is located inside the city, on the left bank of the Loire.
Visit Chateau Sully-sur-Loire
Outside, the building consists of four very prominent cylindrical towers, which flank the rectangular keep. To the west there are the towers called "Nouvion" and "Villebon", while to the east there are the "Chapelle d'Anguillon" and "Verrines". The gateway to the south is flanked by two cylindrical towers; formerly accessible via a drawbridge which rose over a moat that today was filled while a door placed in a square tower is the main access to the castle.
Particularly worthy of note is the coverage of the top floor, the wooden frame roof, that is shaped like upturned hull.
The Donjon is located in front of a large quadrangle (the "lower court"), close to two round towers; those to the south-east dates back to the fifteenth century, built over the remains of an older tower, while the “Tower of Béthune” , with walls of a thickness of about 5 metres, was built at the time of Maximilian Bethune for the guns. To the south-east of the court was built a comfortable residence, known as the "Little Castle", the habitual residence of the lords of Sully. The interior was arranged in the nineteenth century.
Inside, there are rooms with fireplaces, tapestries, paintings and rooms with furniture of the period. On the north side stands the rectangular Donjon, built towards the end of the fourteenth century.
The interior spaces were profoundly altered by Maximilien de Béthune. In the foreground stand the great hall with its wooden doors of the seventeenth century, and the iron door which gives access to the study. In many rooms there are 17th century tapestries.
In the castle basement are the kitchen and pantry, while above them there are a hall for receptions and elegant apartments. The different floors within the castle are connected by a spiral staircase located in the tower to the southeast of the entrance.
Around the castle ther stands a great park, crossed by canals that were dug by Maximilien of Béthune, in order to help protect the castle against possible floods from of the Loire.
During the French Revolution part of the walls of chateau sully-sur-Loire were dismantled and over the years the castle suffered a marked deterioration. Left to the Dukes of Sully until the twentieth century, it was subsequently purchased by the Department of Loiret. Between 2006 and 2007 the Castle was the subject of major restoration work, which allowed its opening to the public in 2007.
After visiting the castle a nature walk along the banks of the Loire is recommended.
History of Sully-sur-Loire
The town of Sully-Sur-Loire and its ancient "Castrum" of Roman origin are recorded in some documents dating from the twelfth century, as "Soliacense Castrum", as well as “Soliacum”.
We have no reliable information about the earliest period of the City of Sully, apart some documentary and numismatic evidences, while there is some information dates from the fifteenth century; so we know that the city was once surrounded by walls and Charles VII (1403-1461) passed from here with Joan of Arc (1412-1431), to go to Reims.
Sully-Sur-Loire experienced difficult times during the religious wars and it was besieged many times, and even under the reign of Louis XIII (1601-1643) it was involved in fierce battles.
Originally the Chateau de Sully-sur-Loire belonged to the Dukes of Trémouille (1566-1604) then in 1602, Maximilien de Béthune, baron de Rosny (1559-1641) and minister and counselor of Henry IV (1553-1610), became the owner of the Castle, where he remained until the death of the King, leading a very austere life.
Today, however, it is a small town very dynamic, which lives of tourism brought by its castle and landscapes of the Loire.
Map of Chateau de Sully-sur-Loire & places nearby
Castle Town village