Absolute Splendor of the Loire Valley

Europe - Editor - 31 December 2008

Absolute Splendor of the Loire Valley

With endless green hills, picturesque lanes of trees, colorful flower beds and towns that seem untouched by time, Loire Valley in France is one of the most breathtaking attractions in the country. It takes visitors on a journey back through time, where the Loire Valley was a status symbol, and royalty and nobility fought for land to erect their massive chateaus across the countryside. Many writers and poets are still attracted to this breathtaking part of France as a source of inspiration and peace, and it is unsurprisingly referred to as the Garden of France.

The more than three hundred luxurious chateaus that lie scattered across the Loire Valley began springing up from the tenth century. As the French royalty began to construct spectacular castles in the valley, the nobility did not want to be left behind and thus followed suit. Many of the legendary architects of the time designed and oversaw the construction of the chateaus, whilst landscapers flocked to the region to create masterpieces with the fertile land. Some of the best known castles include Chateau de Chambord, Chateaux d’Amboise and Chateau de Villandry.

Some of the castles were destroyed during wars, but most of the Loire Valley has been preserved exactly as it was centuries ago. With the exception of a few, the chateaus are privately owned; some are open to the public and others used for guest houses. Chambord is the biggest castle in the Loire Valley and construction began on the structure in 1519 by Francois I. The strong Italian influence can be seen in the architecture and it was a project that took years to complete. An immensely big hunting preserve and park complete this symbol of nobility. This is just one of the architectural gems in the Loire Valley.

The castles and indescribably beautiful landscapes are not the only attractions in the valley, as the ancient and historic towns, such as Blois, Nantes, Tours, Amoise and Orleans, found in the Garden of France, also attract thousands of visitors each year to enjoy their authenticity and savor the magical and exceptional atmosphere which is felt in each town. To discover the true magnificence of France, visitors are recommended to travel through the Loire Valley and enjoy its tranquility and uniqueness.


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