24 December 2017

28,000 square meters

Twenty-eight thousand square meters is the equivalent of just over 300,000 square feet (seven acres). That how big the château at Chinon turns out to be: 400m x 70m, according to the Michelin Guide Vert. "Three separate medieval fortifications were combined into one in the castle's heyday," writes the author of the Cadogan Guide to the Loire Valley.

This first photo shows what you see as you approach Chinon from upriver along the Vienne. « ...cette forteresse date, pour l'essentiel, de l'époque d'Henri II Plantagenêt (12e siècle) » — that's what I read in the Guide Vert. Even though Henri became king of England in 1154, he died at Chinon in 1189 (at the age of 56 — I notice that he was born on March 5 as I was).

Anyway, I like the view above. I took the photo near Ligré, a village on the  left bank of the Vienne river, about three miles (5 km) southeast of the château. We used to like to go to the Château de Ligré winery there until we settled in here in Saint-Aignan and stopped doing so much driving all around the Loire Valley. We got old, I guess.

Here's a map of Chinon that I photographed somewhere. You can see how big the château complex is (the rusty red color toward the top of the map) compared to the town, which is in two parts on either side of the river, linked by the old bridge. Click or tap and pinch the photos to enlarge them.


  1. I guess at that size it was a royal compound, a la Chambord. The 12th century seems to be a complicated era in French history.

  2. Is the island at Saint Aignan like the island off the bridge to Chinon? Since I grew up along the Ohio river I enjoy looking at castles along a river. Of course the Ohio is a mile across at Louisville which makes it a horse of a different color lol.

    1. The Ohio is probably even bigger than the Loire. The Cher, Vienne, and Indre are small potatoes, but charming and pretty. My impression is that the island at Chinon is completely undeveloped, where the island at Saint-Aignan has a playground, a bandstand, a restaurant, and a public swimming pool (indoor and outdoor) on it.

    2. Oh, and Merry Christmas to you and Lew.

  3. Wishing you both, Walt and Ken, a very happy Christmas and a happy 2018. Thank you both for your blogs which cheer up my mornings. Warm regards, Roderick


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