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Visit Chateau du Lude
The Chateau du Lude is a beautiful Renaissance chateau in the Loire Valley. It is situated to the north of the Loire valley, north-west of Tours and north-east of Angers. The Chateau du Lude is still lived in by the family who have owned it for the last 260 years.
Explore the Chateau du Lude
The Chateau du Lude was originally a fortress built in the 10th century but over the years has been transformed into an elegant residential chateau. It has a beautiful Renaissance facade which is a fine example of Italian Renaissance architecture. It also has a Classical wing which faces the river Loir (not to be confused with the river Loire) and was added in the 18th century.
The northern facade was resored in the 19th century in Gothic style.
The castle once had a significant defensive role in the Hundred Years war as testified by its six sturdy towers, moat (now dry) and vaulted underground passages but it underwent a transformation into an elegant, beautifully decorated residential chateau in the 15th century.
Its interior can be visited and amongst other rooms to admire there is a library, drawing rooms and a medieval kitchen. Outbuildings include a dungeon, stables, a farm and a barn. The kitchens were built in the 15th century but abandoned in the 20th century until 1993 when they were restored. They are now used once a month for a series of Gourmet days and also for jam making sessions using fruit from the castle gardens.
Surrounding the chateau the gardens are beautiful and include the lower garden along by the river which was designed by Edouard André in the 19th century. Formal box hedges surround sumptous plantings of roses, alliums and lots of colourful herbaceous plants. André also designed the formal kitchen garden.
A long wall is bordered with a wide range of flowering and scented shrubs and a spring garden filled with plants which flower in the spring leads to a woodland garden. A collection of rare trees has also been planted in recent years.
The beautiful planting and the wonderful position along the river edge makes the garden a pleasure to visit and it is classified as a "Remarkable Garden" of France.
The castle is open from the 1st April to the 31st October 11.00-12.30 and 02.30-18.00. It is closed on Wednesdays in April, May and September and only open Saturday and Sunday afternoons in October.
Visits cost 6 euros for garden only and 9 euros for castle and garden. Half-price for 7-15 year olds.
Gardeners will want to visit for the Garden Festival which takes place every year over the first weekend of June.
Places to visit nearby
The Chateau du Lude is to the north of most of the castles of the Loire Valley. Baugé is nearby which has a chateau in the centre of town and is home to one of the finest ancient apothecaries in France.