Saturday, April 29, 2017

March Wanderings - Chateau d'Ussé

Up and out ... on the bicycle and whizzing along the Loire river ... past all the sites of my previous posts without stopping ... veering left at Candes-St-Martin, over the bridge that crosses the Vienne ... into the woods through which the most hidden of all the rivers flows, the river Indre ...

House built in the last 50 years, using traditional materials and techniques

vineyard and winery

Old manor that has been converted to a farmhouse

Original gates to the manor

One of the many water mills straddling the Indre river

A nameless chateau peeking above the treetops
and then the landscape opens up and the magical castle of Ussé suddenly emerges ...
It is believed that this was the castle that inspired Charles Perrault to write his version of the fairy tale "Sleeping Beauty". Elements of the castle date back to the 11th century but what we see today mostly dates from the 15th and 16th centuries.
Part of the castle remains closed to visitors and it is still lived in by the owner, the 7th Duc de Blacas. However the main portion is open to visitors and is a fascinating place to explore.

Restoration of one of the dormers was in progress while I was there.

Scenes from Sleeping Beauty have been recreated in attic rooms.
On the grounds of the chateau are a chapel, carriage house, green house and terraced gardens.