Visit Chateaudun (Loire Valley, France)
Chateaudun is a town located to the north-west of Orleans and south-west of Paris, attractively located on a rocky outcrop above the Loir River. The highlight, standing above the town, is Chateau de Chateaudun. Notably it is the first castle you reach when heading from Paris towards the Loire Valley.
The town falls into two distinct regions, with the castle and the medieval town at the higher point of the hill, and the more recent lower town along the river below. The two parts are joined by several paths and alleys between the two.
Most visits to Chateaudun will start with the castle. Although the chateau has existed here since the 12th century, and part of the structure dates from that time, a great deal of modifications took place in the 15th and 16th centuries to transform the castle from having a defensive role to being a more comfortable building for living in.
As a result the castle combines both medieval and renaissance styles with the round donjon, 31 metres tall and with a conical roof, being the main element from the earlier period. There are several noteworthy architectural features to admire, including two ornate external staircases facing the interior courtyard.
The gothic style chapel at Chateaudun castle is also well known for an important fresco it contains - a portrayal of the Final Judgement dating from the 15th century.
Because of its importance the castle is a listed national monument.
Other sites of interest in Chateaudun
Although a serious fire damaged the town in the first half of the 18th century there are still some impressive medieval buildings to admire in the old town around the castle and the Eglise de la Madeleine.
In particular see the medieval houses along Rue saint Lubin and the Maison de la Vierge (with a wooden statue of the Virgin on the facade) on the Rue de la Porte d'Abas for some of the best examples. There is a renaissance style house in stone with a small tower at the corner of Rue de la Cuirasserie.
There are also various churches of note in the town including the Church of Saint-Valerien, the Eglise de la Madeleine and Saint-Jean-de-la-Chaine church. You can also see the facade of the Chapel de Champdé, the remaining part of an important 16th century church.
Chateaudun tourist office can give you details of the marked path through the town that shows the highlights en-route.
Interesting stories are attached to the Foulon Caves (on rue des Fouleries) - occupied in prehistoric times, they later served as a refuge for the inhabitants of the town during the great fire. The guided tour of the caves extends over almost a kilometre of the complex.
Chateaudun is a 3* ville Fleurie and there are various well maintained parks and gardens, including the Grands-Moulins Gardens in a picturesque setting on the banks of the Loir and the recreation of a medieval garden next to the castle.
Photos of Chateaudun
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Tourist classifications for Chateaudun
Chateaudun has received the following tourist classifications: recommended detour town (plus beau detour);
Address: Châteaudun, Eure-et-Loir, Loire Valley, 28200 || GPS: latitude 48.0717, longitude 1.33867
Map of Chateaudun & places nearby
Highlights close by
Suggested tourist attractions to visit near Chateaudun, France
- Le pré Catelan - remarkable garden (26km)
- Jardin du château de Talcy - remarkable garden (34km)
- Talcy Chateau - national monument (34km)
- Vendome - town of art and history (36km)
- Les prés-Culand - remarkable garden (38km)
- Beaugency - recommended detour (39km)
- Moutiers - ville fleurie 4* (41km)
- Saint-Jean-de-la-Ruelle - ville fleurie 4* (44km)
- Nogent-le-Rotrou - recommended detour (47km)
- Jardin du domaine de Sasnières - remarkable garden (49km)
Market days in Chateaudun: Regular market(s) are held in Chateaudun each Thursday all day & Saturday. (Markets are held in the morning unless stated.)
The French version of this page is at Chateaudun (Francais)