Chateau de Saumur visitor guide

Photo of Chateau de Saumur

Visit Chateau de Saumur, France

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Saumur chateau sits on a raised rocky area above the Loire River and the town of Saumur in the Maine-et-Loire department (historically the Anjou region). Always an impressive sight, the château de Saumur is even more beautiful when lit up during the evening.

Discover Saumur castle

France This Way review: some of the collections on display are rather specialised and there is less to see in Chateau de Saumur than most castles in the region, but if you are staying nearby and would like to see the beautiful views from the castle you will still enjoy a visit...and entrance does not cost as much as most castles!

In contrast to many castles of the Loire, Saumur castle does not have rooms furnished in period style but is rather a museum with a wide range of different items displayed in its rooms. The views cross the town and river from the castle are another major attraction of a visit.

Renaissance period tower in courtyard of Saumur castle

History of the Chateau de Saumur

The Château de Saumur was originally constructed as a fortified stronghold in 962 close to a benedictine abbey. The castle was rebuilt by the English King Kenry II in 1068 after the original fortress, along with the abbey, had burned down.

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 added defensive walls and four round towers around the castle.

The castle was home to the Dukes of Anjou during much of the 14th and 15th centuries, with major works to convert the castle into a luxury home in the 14th century. The original towers were replaced by the current octagonal towers in the 14th century, and the 15th century saw a significant improvement in the living quarters in the castle.

A significant amount of fortifications were added around 1589 after the Protestant King Henri IV (of France and Navarre) gave the castle as a gift to Duplessis-Mornay, then just 32 years later the castle was converted into an army barracks.

Under the rule of Napoleon Bonaparte, from 1808 until 1814 the castle was used as a prison then for most of the remainder of the 19th century the Chateau de Saumur was used as a storage depot for weapons. Since that time the castle has been used as a museum, with an interruption from 2001-2008 after a major part of the ramparts collapsed.


Visit the Chateau de Saumur

Your visit starts in the main courtyard and includes several rooms on the ground floor and first floor. The courtyard originally had buildings on all sides but the west wing collapsed in the 17th century. Around the courtyard you can see the well that kept the Chateau de Saumur supplied with water for 600 years, an imposing renaissance style staircase and the room where justice was served.

An underground room is also accessed by a staircase from the courtyard, and is underneath the courtyard. This is a large room where provisions were kept cool.

The rooms on the 1st floor are more grand, in particular the rooms that were added and furnished by Louis I in the 14th century in the north wing. You can also see the oratory, the King's bedroom and other bedrooms as well as enjoying the lovely views across Saumur from the gardens.

The belvedere with its views across the town and Loire river is also reached from a doorway at this level, although this part of the castle is only accessible with a guide and a supplement of three euros is charged (usual entrance costs around seven euros).

The chateau also contains a museum with collections of furniture, porcelain and tapestries among the most important, on display on the first floor in the castle, as well as a substantial collection of items related to equestrian activities on display in the ancient abbatiale. The museum has been established in the castle since 1912, when the collection became too large for the room in the Town Hall where it was previously exhibited.

Medieval painted statue in the Chateau de Saumur

Visitor Information


- Full price: 6,00 € / 7,00 € ; Reduced price : 4,00 € / 5,00 €

- Family ticket: (2 adults and 2 children : 18,00 € ; free for children under 7 years old

Opening hours

Closed from early November to end March, except school holidays

From 15 june to 15 September 2018 : open every day from 10:00 to 18:30

From 1 April to 14 June and 16 September to 4 November, open from Tuesday to Sunday (and bank holiday mondays), from 10:00 - 13:00 and 14:00 to 17:30

Attractions nearby

As well as the castle there are several other sites of interest in the town: see the Saumur guide for details or discover more Loire Valley castles.

Other places of interest in the vicinity include the villages of Candes-Saint-Martin and Montsoreau on the Loire river to the east of Saumur, and the Abbey of Fontevraud.

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

See also: 

Photos of Chateau de Saumur

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Map of Chateau de Saumur and places nearby


Visit near Chateau de Saumur with France This Way reviews



The town of Saumur, in the shadow of the famous castle, is a lovely historic town along the banks of the Loire River

Saumur guide


Montsoreau, listed as a 'most beautiful villages in France', also has an interesting troglodyte vilage to explore

Montsoreau guide


In the village of Candes-Saint-Martin, a 'most beautiful village in France', you can see the Vienne river, a medieval collegiale church and a lovely viewpoint

Candes-Saint-Martin guide
Candes-Saint-Martin collegiate church

Candes-Saint-Martin collegiate church

The collegiate church of Candes-Saint-Martin has numerous medieval statues incorporated in the facade and porch

Candes-Saint-Martin collegiate church guide
Fontevraud Abbey

Fontevraud Abbey

The Fontevraud Abbey has a great deal to see: it is one of the largest abbey complexes in France and most visited abbeys in France

Fontevraud Abbey guide
Chateau de Montreuil-Bellay

Chateau de Montreuil-Bellay

The Château de Montreuil-Bellay is an impressive 15th century castle surrouned by medieval ramparts and furnished n period style

Chateau de Montreuil-Bellay guide

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

The French version of this page is at Chateau de Saumur (Francais)