Theme Week Chateaux of the Loire Valley

Monday, 20 June 2011 - 03:29 pm (CET/MEZ) Berlin | Author/Destination:
Category/Kategorie: General, Architecture, Bon voyage, Palaces, Castles, Manors, Parks, Theme Weeks, UNESCO World Heritage
Reading Time:  4 minutes

Châteaux of the Loire Valley © Maximilian Dörrbecker

Châteaux of the Loire Valley © Maximilian Dörrbecker

The Loire Valley (French: Vallée de la Loire), spanning 280 kilometres (170 mi), is located in the middle stretch of the Loire River in central France. It comprises an area of approximately 800 square kilometres (310 sq mi). It is referred to as the Cradle of the French Language, and the Garden of France due to the abundance of vineyards, fruit orchards, artichoke, asparagus and cherry fields which line the banks of the river. Notable for its historic towns, architecture and wines, the valley has been inhabited since the Middle Palaeolithic period.

The Loire Valley wine region includes the several French wine regions situated along the river from the Muscadet region on the Atlantic coast to the regions of Sancerre and Pouilly-Fumé just southeast of the city of Orléans in north central France. Loire wines tend to exhibit a characteristic fruitiness with fresh, crisp flavors.

Chateau de Villandry © Jean-Christophe BENOIST Former medieval Castle Le Rivau © Manfred Heyde Château d'Azay-le-Rideau, view from the gardens © Manfred Heyde Castle Le Lude © Manfred Heyde Royal mansion and adjacent chapel in the lordly area of the Castle of Angers © Manfrd Heyde Châteaux of the Loire Valley © Maximilian Dörrbecker
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Royal mansion and adjacent chapel in the lordly area of the Castle of Angers © Manfrd Heyde
On December 2, 2000, UNESCO added the central part of the river valley, between Maine and Sully-sur-Loire, to its list of World Heritage Sites. In choosing this area that includes the French départements of Loiret, Loir-et-Cher, Indre-et-Loire, and Maine-et-Loire, the committee said that the Loire Valley is: “an exceptional cultural landscape, of great beauty, comprised of historic cities and villages, great architectural monuments – the Châteaux – and lands that have been cultivated and shaped by centuries of interaction between local populations and their physical environment, in particular the Loire itself.”

The architectural heritage in the valley’s historic towns is notable, especially its castles, such as the Châteaux d’Amboise, Château de Chambord, Château d’Ussé, Château de Villandry and Château de Chenonceau. The châteaux, numbering more than three hundred, represent a nation of builders starting with the necessary castle fortifications in the 10th century to the splendor of those built half a millennium later. When the French kings began constructing their huge châteaux here, the nobility, not wanting or even daring to be far from the seat of power, followed suit. Their presence in the lush, fertile valley began attracting the very best landscape designers. In addition to its many châteaux, the cultural monuments illustrate to an exceptional degree the ideals of the Renaissance and the Age of the Enlightenment on western European thought and design.

Here you can find the complete Overview of all Theme Weeks.

Read more on Chateaux de la Loire, Mini-Châteaux Val de Loire and Wikipedia Chateaux de la Loire. Learn more about the use of photos. To inform you about latest news most of the city, town or tourism websites offer a newsletter service and/or operate Facebook pages/Twitter accounts. In addition more and more destinations, tourist organisations and cultural institutions offer Apps for your Smart Phone or Tablet, to provide you with a mobile tourist guide (Smart Traveler App by U.S. Department of State - Weather report by weather.com - Global Passport Power Rank - Travel Risk Map - Democracy Index - GDP according to IMF, UN, and World Bank - Global Competitiveness Report - Corruption Perceptions Index - Press Freedom Index - World Justice Project - Rule of Law Index - UN Human Development Index - Global Peace Index - Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Index). If you have a suggestion, critique, review or comment to this blog entry, we are looking forward to receive your e-mail at comment@wingsch.net. Please name the headline of the blog post to which your e-mail refers to in the subject line.




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