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Culan travel guide

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Visit Culan (Centre-Loire Valley, France)

Culan is located at 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 Culan 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.

Courtyard of the castle in Culan

It is now an exceptional castle to visit, substantial yet not too imposing. The view of the castle from below, with its round towers, suggests a medieval castle while the view of the facade from the courtyard, with a series of square towers, suggests a more recent manor house.

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. The recreations of medieval gardens that run down the hill below the castle have been added more recently.

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.

Medieval gardens of the Chateau de Culan

Photos 1 and 2 by Manfred_Heyde are copyright.

Attractions near 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 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).

You can find more travel ideas in the Cher guide and the Loire Valley guide.

See also: 

Map of Culan and places nearby

Visit near Culan with France This Way reviews

La Chatre

La Chatre

La Chatre is a small town and quick to explore - before setting off to discover the other castles and countryside nearby

La Chatre guide
Herisson

Herisson

The ruined castle and the historic centre along the banks of the Aumance river are the principal attractions in Herisson

Herisson guide
Montlucon

Montlucon

Periods of prosperity in the 12th, 15th and 19th centuries have each contributed monuments and buildings to the centre of Montlucon

Montlucon guide
Saint-Chartier

Saint-Chartier

Take a stroll through the grounds of the castle here in the quiet town of Saint-Chartier

Saint-Chartier guide
Nohant-Vic

Nohant-Vic

The 18th century French manor house where George Sand lived is the main attraction in the village of Nohant-Vic

Nohant-Vic guide
Issoudun

Issoudun

There are few important monuments here in Issoudun, but we enjoyed a stroll around the old town near the 'White Tower'

Issoudun guide

... or see ALL recommended places to visit in Cher

Address: Culan, Châteaumeillant, Saint-Amand-Montrond, Loire Valley, 18270, France || GPS coordinates: latitude 46.5483, longitude 2.35

Plan your visit to Culan, Cher

Sightseeing & tourist attractions to visit nearby

  • Eglise de Saint-Georges (Saint-Jeanvrin): religious monument (10 km)
  • Les jardins artistiques de Drulon: remarkable garden (12 km)
  • Jardins du prieuré Notre-Dame-d'Orsan: remarkable garden (14 km)
  • Jardins du château d'Ainay-le-Vieil: remarkable garden (17 km)
  • Saint-Amand-Montrond: ville fleurie 4* (23 km)
  • Abbaye Notre Dame de Noirlac et Saint Etienne Prieuré (Bruere-Allichamps): religious monument (23 km)
  • Abbaye de La Celle (La Celle): religious monument (26 km)
  • Eglise de Saint Martin (Ineuil): religious monument (26 km)
  • La Chatre: recommended detour (28 km)
  • George Sand House: national monument (30 km)
  • Montlucon: town of art and history (30 km)
  • Foret de Troncais: site of natural beauty (30 km)

The French version of this page is at Culan (Francais)

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