Chateau de Saumur, Pays de la Loire

Photo of Chateau de Saumur in Maine-et-Loire

Discover Chateau de Saumur


Saumur chateau sits proudly on a raised rocky area above the Loire River and the town of Saumur in the Maine-et-Loire department (historically the Anjou region). An imposing sight at any time, the castle looks even more splendid when lit up at night.

History of Chateau de Saumur

Saumur castle above the town

The Château de Saumur was originally constructed as a fortified stronghold as early as the 10th century. This original castle was substantially rebuilt by the English King Kinry II a century later in much the form we see it today, and a significant amount of the fortifications were added later, particularly in the 16th century.

In the early 13th century Saumur returned to the hands of the French, under King Philippe II, and it was his son King Louis IX (Saint Louis) who was responsible for the castle's rebirth - among other major works he demolished the original medieval towers and built the hexagonal towers. It was the home to the Dukes of Anjou during much of the 14th and 15th centuries.

The chateau changed hands several times during the centuries that followed, following the frequent transitions of the region between the English and the French.

In 1589 the Protestant King Henri IV (of France and Navarre) gave the castle as a gift to Duplessis-Mornay.

Just 32 years later the castle was converted into an army barracks - a role it served until it became a prison under the rule of Napoleon Bonaparte.

The Chateau de Saumur today

Bought by the state in 1906, the castle at saumur was renovated and converted into a museum.

The chateau now contains several museums, including a Museum of Decorative Arts (with many examples of bone china); the Museum of the Horse (saddles); and a Museum of Toys.

Take your pick according to your personal fascinations! - check before visiting, because a major collapse at the castle in 2001 has meant the highlights from each museum have been combined in one, entrance about four euros.

You can also see Chateau du Saumur in 'castles of France' or discover more Loire Valley castles.

You can find more local travel ideas in the Maine-et-Loire guide and the Pays de la Loire guide.

See also:

Map of Chateau de Saumur and places to visit

Visit near Chateau de Saumur with France This Way reviews

... or see ALL recommended places to visit in Maine-et-Loire

Address: Saumur, Maine-et-Loire, Pays de la Loire, 49400, France || GPS: latitude 47.257, longitude -0.0724

Sightseeing & tourist attractions to visit nearby

  • Saumur: secteur sauvegarde
  • Loire-Anjou-Touraine: regional natural parc (10km)
  • Montsoreau: most beautiful village (11km)
  • Candes-Saint-Martin: most beautiful village (12km)
  • Collegiale Church (Candes-Saint-Martin): religious monument (12km)
  • Fontevraud Abbey: national monument (12km)
  • Abbaye Notre Dame de Fontevraud (Fontevraud Abbey): religious monument (12km)
  • Prieuré de Notre-Dame de Cunault (Chenehutte-Treves-Cunault): religious monument (15km)
  • Eglise de Notre Dame (Chenehutte-Treves-Cunault): religious monument (15km)
  • Montreuil-Bellay: recommended detour (15km)