"Un jour"... in the Loire Valley, discovering its heart of heritage

Inspiration

Colombe Clier
© Colombe Clier

Reading time: 0 minPublished on 4 April 2023, updated on 16 April 2024

The very spirit of the Renaissance courses through the veins of the Loire Valley, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Bathed in a beautiful light that drew the Kings of France and many artists to its bucolic natural landscapes, it distils an architectural and landscaping model of unprecedented sophistication.

Villandry Chateau and Gardens

Colombe Clier
© Colombe Clier

Inspired by the Renaissance, the gardens spill over four terraces brimming with a rare harmony and diversity. In the mazes of these Haute Couture gardens, visitors are at once deceived, amazed, and led astray.

Domaine de Chaumont-sur-Loire

Colombe Clier
© Colombe Clier

This fairy-tale estate overlooks the Loire. Its foundations were first laid in the Middle Ages, but this estate – today famous for its gardens and the festival held on its grounds – lives and breathes Romanticism and the Renaissance.

Royal de Blois Chateau

Colombe Clier
© Colombe Clier

Incorporating four styles – Medieval, Gothic, Renaissance, and Classical – this chateau is a tour of the ages. Seven kings and ten queens of France reigned from here. From atop the fourth story of its monumental staircase, it’s easy to imagine a royal court filled with intrigue and destiny.

Atelier d'Offard

Colombe Clier
© Colombe Clier

Colours, patterns and collections abound in this wallpaper design studio that can trace its roots back to the craftsmanship of the great 18th and 19th century manufacturers. Here, the bespoke patterns are made to dance by hand.

Fontevraud Royal Abbey

Colombe Clier
© Colombe Clier

Founded in 1101, this UNESCO World Heritage Site is an amazing place. Over seven centuries, 36 abbesses have supervised the mixed community here! The abbey served as a prison under Napoleon, and is today home to a cultural centre.

Loire-Anjou-Touraine Regional Nature Park

Colombe Clier
© Colombe Clier

This nature park preserves the heritage and natural resources of some 115 towns. Its unique attraction has to be the mysterious troglodyte caves carved into the valley’s limestone rock, known as tuffeau. They are home to mushroom farms, wine cellars, rural guest houses, and happy residents!

Maison Picassiette

Colombe Clier
© Colombe Clier

Here you’ll find a timid Mona Lisa, Chartres cathedral, Mont-Saint-Michel, birds, and family and biblical scenes... All in mosaic format! The emotive mosaic is the life’s work of a passionate road mender from Chartres, Raymond Isidore, aka “Picassiette”.




These sites are all certified by French heritage bodies... Here, you are invited to explore the true gems of French heritage. Launched by the French Ministry of Culture, Un jour is a rallying call for 19 French heritage organisations to jointly promote the breadth and diversity of French culture and heritage found throughout the country. These certifications celebrate this diversity and attest to the quality of the attractions on offer. Come with us and experience the wonder of French heritage...


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