Called the "Valley of the Kings" for its chateaux built by royalty and the "Garden of France" for its green landscapes, the Loire Valley looks as if it belongs in a storybook. In addition to touring the castles in this idyllic region during the day, feel transported by spending your nights in one as well.
Domaine De La Tortini?re
This 19th century chateau is located just a short distance south of Tours in the middle of a lovely park overlooking the Indre river. It once served as a headquarters for the Germans during World War II who formed a camp in the park for the soldiers.? Also, a number of notable guests have stayed here including Georges Pompidou, former French President, Audrey Hepburn, G?rard Depardieu, and Juliette Binoche.
Chateau des Ormeaux Amboise
Nazelles Negron, France
The chateau is surrounded by a 62-acre park with its own swimming pool, caves and vineyard. The estate was once owned by Paul Scarron, the first husband of Francoise d'Aubign?, Marquise de Maintenon. She later married Louis XIV.
Chateau de la Villaine
A short walk from the town of Esvres, Chateau de la Villaine was built in the 17th century on the ruins of a medieval castle. The castle has spectacular views of the gardens extending to the Echandon and Indre rivers. Towards the end of the First World War, the US Army trained military chaplains in the chateau. Later, after German occupation from 1940, Villaines was liberated in July 1944.
In nearby Tours, the resident chorus and orchestra present opera and classical concerts at the historic Grand Theatre de Tours, whose architecture is similar to that of the Palais Garnier. Also, Chateau d'Uss?, thought to be?Charles Perrault's inspiration for Sleeping Beauty, holds concerts in the chapel, gardens and orangerie.
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