|The château on the Indre River|
It was built in the same Italian Renaissance style as other famous châteaux on the Loire River were designed in, with plain, stately façades; round, hefty turrets; dark, slate-blue roofing; and gleaming white stones.
The château was still unfinished when the king gifted it to Antoine Raffin, one of his knights, in 1537. He chose not to complete the original plans but instead left the house with a partially-enclosed patio—the unique backward L-shape (or Γ-shape) plan that remains to the present day.
The villageThe town of Azay-le-Rideau itself was, in a word, sleepy. It reminded me a lot of the small-town Spanish pueblos near where I live in Úbeda, with few residents and businesses and not much to see or do outside of the castle at the southern edge of town. After spending maybe two hours tops at the whole château grounds, I was stuck in town for another three hours until the train back to Chinon would arrive, so I got pretty bored. I took that as my sign to eat a Nutella crêpe—always a good idea in France!
What is your favorite Loire Valley château? Do you enjoy visiting castles or mansions when you travel? Comment below!
For more pictures, check out my set on Flickr here.