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Cycle Route LʹIndre-à-Vélo



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Elevation profile Cycle Route LʹIndre-à-Vélo

Added on 05 Mar 2017,

on 05 Mar 2017

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cc0: Public Domain no Rights reserved

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by biroto-Redaktion on 05 Mar 2017

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Start location

Préveranges, Centre-Val de Loire, FR (422 m NHN)

End location

Bréhémont, Centre-Val de Loire, FR (40 m NHN)

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226 km
0,3 km
37 m

FR-37190 Azay-le-Rideau


Castle/palace/World heritage site

Parkside of the Château dʹAzay-le-Rideau
Château dʹAzay-le-Rideau, access road
Château dʹAzay-le-Rideau, view from the court yard
Salon Biencourt in the Château dʹAzay-le-Rideau

The Château d'Azay-le-Rideau (pronounced: [azɛ lə ʁido]) is located in the town of Azay-le-Rideau in the French département of Indre-et-Loire. Built between 1518 and 1527, this château is considered one of the foremost examples of early French renaissance architecture. Set on an island in the middle of the Indre river, this picturesque château has become one of the most popular of the châteaux of the Loire valley.

The château d'Azay-le-Rideau is one of many national monuments under the protection of the Centre des monuments nationaux, and also forms part of the Loire valley UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Architecture and Decoration


Set on an island in the middle of the Indre, the château of Azay-le-Rideau seems to rise straight out of the waters of the river, which reflect the castle's façades so that the château appears to float in its own image. The writer Balzac, who lived nearby and was occasionally a guest at the château, deeply admired the building, describing it as 'a facetted diamond, set in the Indre'. This striking setting has helped Azay-le-Rideau to become one of the most famous of the Loire's many châteaux.

This relatively small château is divided into two sections, the main central body and a wing at right angles to it, and displays a blend of architectural styles. The influence of the fashionable Italian renaissance style is clear in its long proportions and ornate sculptural decorations. Alongside these Italiante elements are vestiges of medieval defensive architecture, such as the traces of the covered walkway on the external walls or the machicolationsunder the roof, which were no longer necessary for defence but were incorporated in the château's design because of their symbolic prestige. Finally, other architectural features, such as the bastion corners with their pointed conical turrets, the vertically stacked dormer windows separated by astring course, and the high, steeply sloping slate roof, help to give Azay-le-Rideau its unmistakably French appearance.

The château's most prominent feature is the grand central staircase, the escalier d'honneur. Its design is thought to have been inspired by the staircase of the Château de Châteaudun, which it resembles from the outside, though its internal structure is very different. Azay-le-Rideau's staircase rises in straight flights rather than in a spiral, as was more usual at this time, and is the oldest surviving staircase of this kind in France.

The staircase has three floors, each with a double bay window forming a mezzanine which looks out over the courtyard. The entryway, which resembles a Roman triumphal arch, is decorated with the initials of Gilles Berthelot and his wife, while the pedimentsoverhanging each window bay are carved with the salamander and ermine of Francis I and his wife, Claude of France, in honour to the monarch of the time. Inside, the ceiling of the staircase is made up of medallions sculpted with the profiles of the kings and queens of France from Louis XI to Henry IV. With its columns and pilasters, and ornate carvings of shells, medallions and other symbols, this impressive staircase provides a clear example of the influence of Italian renaissance style in the château's design.


The château's richly sculpted interior decoration once again reflects the influence of the Italian renaissance. It is made up of several drawing rooms and stately apartments, most of which are decorated in the neo-renaissance style popular during the 19th century. Many of these rooms display 16th- and 17th-century Flemish tapestries, most notably the 'Scenes from the Old Testament' woven in Audenarde, and the 'Story of Psyche', which was created in Brussels and which, in 2009, provided the inspiration for the château's exhibition dedicated to the Greek myth. The château also houses a significant collection of artwork, including a 'Dame au Bain' (possibly depicting Diane de Poitiers) by François Clouet, and several portraits of French monarchs, including Francis I, Henry III and Catherine de Medici.

Also of note are the attics, where the charpente (in French), or the hand-crafted wooden frame supporting the roof, has been recently restored (2010–11) and can be viewed alongside an exhibition explaining the complex techniques of its construction.

Park and Gardens

The current gardens were designed in the 19th century by the Biencourts, who created a large landscaped park in the English style. To the south and west, the river creates a water mirror for the château, reflecting the façades and creating an attractive tableau.

Information about copyright

Rights characteristic / license

by-sa: CREATIVE COMMONS Attribution-ShareAlike

Link to the description of the license

Input taken over from:

Wikipedia contributors, 'Château d'Azay-le-Rideau', Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 19 September 2013, 14:54 UTC, <> [accessed 11 March 2014]

taken over / edited on

11 Mar 2014 - 20 May 2014

taken over / edited by


Hours of opening

No chance to take photos without having a payed ticked to the Château.


226 km
0,0 km
46 m


FR-37190 Azay-le-Rideau


Tourist information

Hours of opening

     01/07 - 31/08: Monday - Saturday: 9h - 19h
     Sundays and public holidays: 10h - 18h
     01/05 to 30/06 and 01/09 - 30/09: Monday - Saturday: 9h - 13h and 14h - 18h
     Sundays and public holidays: 10h - 13h and 14h - 17h
     01/10 - 30/04: Monday - Saturday: 9h - 13h and 14h - 18h
     Closed Sundays and public holidays (Easter weekend: open)


229 km
0,0 km
35 m

FR-37190 Azay-le-Rideau



Façade sud du Château de LʹIslette

Hours of opening

from 10am until 7pm, last admission 6pm

Guided Tour Times

  • Mornings: 10.30am – 11.30am – 12.30pm
  • Afternoons: 2pm – 3pm – 4pm – 5pm – 6pm

229 km
1,2 km
57 m


M. et Mme Minier
FR-37190 Cheillé




230 km
0,9 km
57 m

FR-37190 Azay-le-Rideau



Arial view of the Gardens of la Chatonniere
Castle of Chatonnière
Castle of Chatonnière, garden of abundance
Castle of Chatonnière, garden

Das Schloss La Chatonnière befindet sich in der französischen Region Centre und liegt im Departement Indre-et-Loire.

Das Schloss selbst ist nicht zugänglich; der Grund für einen Besuch sind die neun Terrassengärten auf dem Anwesen. Streng geometrisch oder wild, blühen sie blau, lachsfarben oder weiß, und sie symbolisieren Eleganz, Intelligenz, Romantik, Wissenschaft, Fülle, Überschwang, Utopie, Schweigen und Sinnlichkeit. In diesen Gärten kulminiert der überwältigende Eindruck, den der Garten Frankreichs auf den Besucher macht. Natur wird hier in eine märchenhafte Welt transformiert, und es lohnt sich, die einzelnen Gärten näher anzusehen.

Garten der Eleganz

Südlich des Schlosses, inmitten von Grünflächen, im Schatten hoher Linden und kegelförmig geschnittener Eiben liegt der Garten der Eleganz. Er wird von Skulpturen eingerahmt und ist von Vasen, kleinen Büschen und Aussichtspunkten umgeben. Seine Eishügel, Labyrinthe und Blumenbeete verwandeln sich mit den Jahreszeiten: Tulpen im April, Lilien im Mai, Dahlien im Sommer, Alpenveilchen im Herbst.

Garten der Intelligenz

Umstellt von Pergolen, die von Rosen umrankt sind, erinnert der Garten der Intelligenz an leuchtende Arabesken. Vier blaurote, quadratische Beete werden eingerahmt von Pergolen und Mauern voller Rosen und Clematis.


Der Garten der Romantik ist dem Traum des Polyphil nachempfunden. Er besteht aus einem Kranz von dreißig runden Grünflächen, und von Weidengeflecht gestützte Kletterrosen formen schillernde Bögen. In der Mitte verbirgt sich ein Labyrinth, wie man es aus alten Überlieferungen der Wikinger kennt.

Garten der Wissenschaft

Der Garten besteht aus Quadraten, die ein Schachbrettmuster bilden. Als Bepflanzung wechseln sich Rasen und Heilkräuter ab. 

Garten der Fülle

Der Garten der Fülle ist ein Gemüsegarten, durch tausend erhöht gepflanzte, safranfarbene Rosenbüsche vor dem Nordwind geschützt. Alle Beete zusammen sind quasi eingebettet in ein riesiges Rosenblatt, dessen Rippen von den Wegen dazwischen gebildet werden.

Garten der Utopie

An einer das Schloss überragenden Felsseite leuchtet der kalifornische Mohn des halbmondförmigen Garten der Utopie. Tausend feuerfarbige Rose bilden eine Laube, an der sich Goldrosen empor ranken.

Garten des Überschwangs

Auf sechs Hektar wogt im Garten des Überschwangs ein Meer von Wildblumen.

Garten des Schweigens

Der Garte des Schweigens befindet sich im Herzen des Anwesens. Ein alter Brunnen, ein Taubenschlag, von Zypressen umstandene Rasenflächen sowie Vasen als Dekoration verleihen dem Garten Anmut und Strenge zugleich.

Garten der Sinne

Im Westen liegt am Fuße der mittelalterlichen Türme, um ein Wasserbecken herum, der mit Buchsbaum eingefasste Garten, an dem sich alle fünf Sinne erfreuen können. Einhundertfünfzig verschiedene Stauden blühen in unterschiedlichsten Farben. Vögel zwitschern und Zikaden zirpen. Zwischen den Fingern fühlt man die samtenen Blütenblätter und riecht den aromatischen Duft der Heilkräuter.

Information about copyright

Rights characteristic / license

by-sa: CREATIVE COMMONS Attribution-ShareAlike

Link to the description of the license

Input taken over from:

Seite „Schloss La Chatonnière“. In: Wikipedia, Die freie Enzyklopädie. Bearbeitungsstand: 23. Februar 2014, 17:37 UTC. URL: (Abgerufen: 8. September 2014, 17:06 UTC)

taken over / edited on

08 Sep 2014

taken over / edited by


Hours of opening

Gardens are open every day from 15th March to 15th November, from 10:00 AM to 8:00 PM, including bank holidays. Last access: 7:00 PM.





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