Saumur Castle is one of the medieval masterpieces along the river Loire. This French river and its strategic importance throughout the course of history is why today these parts France still has beautiful castles such as Saumur, but also Chenonceau Castle, Amboise Castle, Blois Castle, Villandry Castle, Usse Castle and many more.
Saumur Castle is a typical medieval Gothic building. With its sharp grey towers it dominates the Loire Valley, Maine-et-Loire region. For centuries, this French region, between the rivers Loire and Thouet has been proud of its vineyards, which make some of the best and top-quality French wines.
Saumur Castle takes its name from the French town. It dates back to 10th century, but in the form that can be seen today, it was built by King Henry II in the late 12th century .. The king decided to build a new castle after the destruction of earlier castles during battles, as it stands on a strategic place in the confluence of the rivers Loire and Thouet.
Saumur Castle was once in the hands of the French crown, in particularly Louis XI in 1480. Until this time the castle was the scene for many battles and fights between Englishmen and Frenchmen. Later on during the centuries it became a residence for various local rulers and governors, prison and a warehouse for weapons.
In the 17th century the castle housed troops and during Napoleon's era was a prison. Today the castle is one of the most popular and liked tourist attractions in Western France. Since 1912 the palace was declared a historical monument and a municipal museum.
In recent years, the castle has been the subject of extensive restoration, but some of the notable exhibits can be seen in the exhibition halls as temporary exhibitions. Here you can visit the museum of decorative arts, which offers wonderful exhibits of authentic alabaster and wood carvings, tapestries, furniture, paintings, jewelry, liturgical objects, French faience and porcelain.
You can also visit the Horse Museum which tells the story of these animals over the centuries and in different countries. This museum has a wide range of saddles, other subjects related to breeding, engravings, etc. Be sure to climb in the highest tower to see the gorgeous views of the Loire valley.