Culan, Loire Valley: tourism & sightseeing
Visit Culan (Loire Valley, France)
Culan is located in the southern tip of the Cher department, in quiet countryside about 30 kilometres north-west of Montlucon.
It is for the Chateau de Culan that the village is best known, and that attracts visitors to the village.
Exploring Culan and castle
The current Culan castle was constructed from the 13th to 15th centuries and stands on a raised area above the valley of the River Arnon. It is the third castle to stand in the same location. Minor modifications took place in later centuries, and the castle was very extensively renovated during the second half of the 20th century.
It is now an exceptional castle to visit, substantial yet not too imposing.
There are several features of interest both inside and outside Culan castle. Examples include the wooden structures between the rooves and stonework (to enable the occupants to throw objects at attacking parties), and the impressive grand fireplaces. Added more recently are the recreations of medieval gardens that run down the hill below the castle.
The castle plays host to various medieval festivals and reenactments during the summer holidays.
While visiting Culan there are other features of interest apart from the castle, including some attractive medieval houses and the arched stone bridge and wooded valley below the castle.
The substantial stone viaduct that you see in Culan was constructed in the 19th century, a major feat of engineering to enable trains to operate between Montlucon and Chateauroux. It is no longer in use but still dominates the village and valley.
Exploring close to Culan
Culan is part of a tourist route called the Route Jacques Coeur which explores many castles in this relatively unexplored region of central France.*
The centre of France
* The exact centre of France has been defined as falling in Vesdun, a few kilometres east of Culan, where the location is commemorated with a flag and small display (an honour previously held by Bruère-Allichamps until recent techniques allowed the centre to be more accurately determined).
Map of Culan and places to visit
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Address: Culan, Châteaumeillant, Saint-Amand-Montrond, Cher, Loire Valley, 18270, France || GPS: latitude 46.5483, longitude 2.35
Plan your visit to Culan, Loire Valley
Sightseeing & tourist attractions to visit nearby
- Eglise de Saint-Georges (Saint-Jeanvrin): religious monument (10km)
- Les jardins artistiques de Drulon: remarkable garden (12km)
- Jardins du prieuré Notre-Dame-d'Orsan: remarkable garden (14km)
- Jardins du château d'Ainay-le-Vieil: remarkable garden (17km)
- Saint-Amand-Montrond: ville fleurie 4* (23km)
- Abbaye Notre Dame de Noirlac et Saint Etienne Prieuré (Bruere-Allichamps): religious monument (23km)
- Abbaye de La Celle (La Celle): religious monument (26km)
- Eglise de Saint Martin (Ineuil): religious monument (26km)
- La Chatre: recommended detour (28km)
- George Sand House: national monument (30km)
- Montlucon: town of art and history (30km)
- Foret de Troncais: site of natural beauty (30km)
The French version of this page is at Culan (Francais)