Peering down over the Loire riverside from its hilltop perch and framed by the cobblestone lanes and half-timbered houses of Saumur’s atmospheric Old Town, the majestic Château de Saumur is among the most picturesque of the Loire Valley and its imposing silhouette is omnipresent. Built in the 14th-century for Louis I, the Duke of Anjou, the castle has served intermittently as a government residence, an army barracks, a prison and a munitions depot, but is now home to the Saumur Municipal Museum.
The château’s biggest selling point is its dramatic location and walking around the castle grounds, dotted with picnic benches and lookout points, offers unbeatable views over the city below. Inside, the museum’s exhibitions include an impressive array of ceramics and tapestries dating mostly from the Middle Ages, a varied collection of decorative art and a fascinating exhibition on Saumur’s equestrian heritage.
The Château de Saumur is located in the historic center of Saumur and is open daily from 10am-6:30pm in high season, Tues- Sun 10am-1pm and 2-5:30pm in low season. Adult admission at the time of writing is €6, or €7 in July-August.