10 June 2016

More Saint-Aignan château photos

Here's another view of what you see when you arrive at Saint-Aignan on the route de Blois, coming in from the north. More and more tourists are doing just that these days, because the big Beauval zoo, with it's giant pandas, is on the south side of the town. The zoo claims to be one of the world's top ten.


We live about two miles west of the château, on the same side of the Cher river. When we came here in 2003, we'd never really heard of Saint-Aignan. It was a real estate agent who introduced us to the place. It's about a 30-minute drive from all sorts of famous places with Loire Valley châteaux — Amboise, Chambord, Chenonceaux, Chaumont, Valençay, Loches, and Cheverny.


The original château at Saint-Aignan was built in the 9th and 10th centuries. It was a hilltop fortress, and just a small part of it remains today. That part is a stone tower and wall, with a gateway into the main courtyard of the complex.


The main building — the château itself — was built as a fine residence for a noble family in the French Renaissance, 500 years after the construction of the original fortress. France had emerged from the 100 years war with the English, and the kingdom was expanding. The French king and his court had adopted the Loire Valley — especially Loches, Amboise, and Blois — as its special domain, because of the areas relatively mild climate.


I think the building above, part of which is the château stables, is much more recent than the main château (photo yesterday). I read somewhere that the octagonal tower was built in the 1830s. Since the château is privately owned and not open to the public (with the exception of the courtyard), it's not easy to find a lot of information about all the buildings and their history.

8 comments:

  1. Ken....you could try chutzpah and just knock on the door and ask...
    Madame might be only too pleased to talk about the family home...she probably doesn't want all and sundry traipsing through, but a personal visit by an enquiring American might be just the thing she would like!!

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    1. That is a thought. I do know someone in the village who says she's known Mme la Marquise for many years and drops by to visit with her once in a while.

      At the same time, I wouldn't want somebody to come knocking at my door unannounced.

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    2. Ken ... if you lived in a chateau, people would knock on your door . That said, I don't think I could ever just walk up to the door of any home and knock and ask to come in and look around lol ..Unless ... make up a story about writing an article for an American publication about the grand homes in France ... yeah, that's the ticket ! She will be happy and take the camera !!!

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    3. A few years ago, CHM and I were driving through Burgundy and we came upon a beautiful château far out in the country. We parked the car on the side of the road and walked through a wide-open gateway toward the château to take a few photos. There were no private property or do not enter signs to be seen, and we were pretty far from the château itself. Suddenly, a man in a little car came driving toward us from the direction of the château at high speed. I thought he was going to run CHM over. The driver was screaming and yelling at us as if we were invading Huns. We beat a hasty retreat. So I hesitate.

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    4. Curiously enough, I posted about that hostile château incident exactly five years ago yesterday.

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  2. It is hard to imagine one widow living there on her own. I don't suppose the whole building is used. I assume there would some kind of substantial property taxes.

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    1. If you look back at yesterday's picture of the château, you see a little silver-colored car parked up there on the right. That's where Mme la Marquise lives, I believe, in that wing. I've noticed potted plants in the windows in that part of the building, and I've seen somebody cleaning the windows in there. The car also gives a sense of the scale of the place.

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