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Val de LoireOn the trail of Francis I in the Loire Valley

Seven monuments await your visit in the Loire Valley, especially the Royal Château of Chambord, the largest and most famous of the Loire châteaux, as well as the Royal Château de Blois. Most of the other five castles are the works of lesser or greater lords of the Court anxious to live close to their Lord and Master. Some are still inhabited. Except the Château du Clos Lucé located in the Indre-et-Loire departement They are all in the Loir-et-Cher departement which, cut into two by the Loire River, has the greatest concentration of châteaux in the world. They are all built close to game-filled forests, with charming little towns nearby except the beautiful cities of Blois and Amboise (Château du Clos Lucé).
Each of the châteaux offers you a variety of discoveries.
You will have the opportunity to see royal châteaux as well as modest manors once belonging to poor squires, or to newly rich knighted merchants, including the home of wealthy courtesans highly placed at Court.
Visiting various châteaux and manors will provide you with a comprehensive overview of life in the 16th century.

The young Prince Francis had left Cognac (and Angoulême) at the age of 5 years and, recently named Duke of Valois, was trained to become a King in this region which was the preferred region for French kings prior to the 16th century. Francis Ist spent also much time there at the beginning of his reign.

Chambord in the old days

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