Montresor is a village found 20 km east of Loches in the Centre region of France where it is listed as one of the 'most beautiful villages of France'. The village sits quietly on the banks of the Indrois River, with its fine chateau as a romantic backdrop to the village.
On a slightly improbable note, the village is supposed to have got its name from King Gontran, the grandson of Clovis, who dreamed of treasure while he slept beside the river, and awoke to be told by a servant of a lizard he had seen glowing with gold. A quick search of the area, and the treasure soon revealed itself.
The village retains its 11th century fortress, built on top of a rocky outcrop above the village and with walls, towers and gate intact. Built originally for defensive purposes, the chateau at Montresor was subsequently transformed into a Renaissance Mansion in the 15th century, within the original fortified walls.
A wealthy Polish imigrant bought the castle in the 19th century, and much of the interior furnishing of the castle dates from this period, including paintings that show events from Polish history.
The castle is surrounded by attractive parkland gardens that contain various statues, again in part showing characters from Polish history.
Close by the Collegiale Church of Saint John the Baptist dates from the 16th century and has a renaissance facade, although the rest of the church is in gothic style. Inside the church you can see marble effigies representing the family of an important local lord.
The rest of the village is clustered around the base of the castle, and has some very pretty little houses spread along the Indrois River, and some equally attractive half-timbered houses and a medieval covered market, as well as a part of the original defensive walls. It is truly one of those 'step back in time' villages that are found so infrequently.
if possible try to also visit Montresor during July or August on a Friday or Saturday evening when the village is beautifully lit and music is played.
After exploring the village of Montresor walk along the banks of the river for some lovely views across the village and castle - the path continues for more than a kilometre through the countryside.
The countryside around Montresor is a maze of pretty walks so that you can make the most of the attractive countryside - the tourist offices can point you in the right direction. Watersports, angling and horse-riding are also popular local activities.
The castles at Amboise, Chenonceau and Valencay are among those within easy reach of Montresor - see Loire Valley castles for details.
... or see ALL recommended places to visit in Indre-et-Loire
Montresor is classified as a one of the most beautiful village in France (plus beau villages)
Address: Montrésor, Loches, Indre-et-Loire, Loire Valley, 37460, France || GPS: latitude 47.155, longitude 1.2037
The French version of this page is at Montresor (Francais)