Browsing All posts tagged under »Loire Valley«

Montrichard: Val de Loire

Nov 10, 2018 by

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Looming over the town of MonTrichard (the T is sounded) is the impressive donjon which has dominated the countryside for miles around for the last thousand years. We assumed ‘donjon’ meant dungeon, a prison down in the bowels of the earth but no, the French use dungeon too. Donjon means the exact opposite, architecturally speaking. It’s what we call a Keep, a large tower built in fortified residences, a place of last resort should the rest of the castle fall.

Gare de Tours France

Jul 5, 2017 by

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The Gare de Tours is quite simply wonderful. It was built between 1896 and 1898 during what is now known nostalgically as La Belle Époque, a time of peace and prosperity when France was the cultural centre of the world.

The Mini-Châteaux of Amboise

Dec 15, 2016 by

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There are model villages and then there are model villages and then there’s model châteaux, thirty-three of them in one park, the perfect introduction to the Loire Valley especially for those poor souls who visited in the summer of 2016 which saw the worst flooding seen in a century. Unable to visit the real châteaux […]

Christmas in Amboise

Dec 14, 2016 by

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  Christmas in Amboise is, unfortunately, getting more like Christmas in the UK but there are a few merciful respites. Decorated Christmas trees and Father Christmases do begin to pop up in December but on the whole, things are much more low key. There is no spending frenzy. The French do not go into debt. […]

Château Amboise (1)

Aug 7, 2016 by

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Way back in Neolithic times, the mighty rock where Château Amboise now stands was a defensive fort. The natural promontory at the confluence of the Loire to the north and the Amasse to the south, was and is still, a perfect observation point.