The Marvellous 120 Castles
of the Loire Valley
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The 120 castles of the Loire — UNESCO World Heritage

The Loire Valley is a territory that is home to majestic castles. To say that they are part of the landscape is a nice understatement! Some of its buildings are a symbol of the Age of Enlightenment and the Renaissance.
Other prestigious and imposing medieval fortresses seduce with their beautiful facades. Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since November 30, 2000, the Loire castles have been inviting you to revisit the history of France for two decades now.
Some castles of the Loire classified as World Heritage by UNESCO
Each stone of the Loire castles preserves the rich historical past of the region. A region that has seen the Kings and Queens of France write important pages in the history of France. To discover the different architectures of these buildings, the stories, the anecdotes (murders, intrigues…), visit the castles of the Loire with a precise itinerary. You will then make the most of these magnificent buildings. In reality, even if there is to date no official count, it is estimated that nearly 3000 castles have been built in the region. Discover below an overview of the most beautiful castles of the Loire which are worth a detour.
In the Loire, valley of the Kings of yesteryear, stand medieval monuments such as the royal fortress of Chinon. The latter preserves to this day the memory of the mythical meeting between the Dauphin of France Charles VII and Joan of Arc.
The Château de Langeais witnessed the union between Charles VIII and Anne of Brittany. This marriage had sealed the attachment of the Kingdom of France and Brittany.
From illustrious medieval castles to the most anonymous mansions of the Loire, you will certainly be spoiled for choice. The fortress of Montbazon, the Château de Langeais or the Royal City of Loche are buildings that you absolutely must visit. Each of them tells a unique story.
Many castles of the Loire built in the Middle Ages for defensive purposes opened outward from the Renaissance. From this period which marks the starting point of the modern era, the castles of the region abandon their drawbridge and their austere ramparts. They are now more inclined towards aesthetics, drawing inspiration from Italian culture.
In addition to the royal castle of Amboise at Clos Lucé where the universal genius Leonardo da Vinci lived before dying in 1519, here are the main Renaissance monuments that you can visit:
Cheverny Castle
Gaillard Castle
Chenonceau Castle
Villandry Castle
The castle of Gizeux
The castle of Ussé
The castle of Azay-le-Rideau
The castle of Montresor
Champchevrier Castle
The Chateau de l'Islette
The castle of Chambord
The list is obviously long, but each of these castles classified as UNESCO heritage immerses you in an authentic universe.
Beyond the castles, it is the whole territory that UNESCO honors
It is not only the architectural richness of the Loire that is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. In reality, this worldwide recognition consecrates the exceptional cultural landscape of the region over 280 km. The Loire Valley is the largest French site on the UNESCO World Heritage List.
The interactions between men and nature make this territory a magical place where the art of living is king. Remarkable fauna, idyllic flora, mysterious islands, ephemeral sandbanks... the Loire Valley offers real cultural landscapes that you absolutely have to discover at least once in your life!

The Centre-Val de Loire region has a total of 2,700 buildings (castles and other monuments)
protected as historical monuments.