Anchored at the center of a wide moat, with its four fully functioning drawbridges and majestic turrets, the Chateau du Plessis-Bourré is undeniably photogenic, and it’s unsurprisingly served as the backdrop for a number of films over the years. Built in the 15th-century by its namesake Jean Bourré, minister to King Louis XI, it’s famed for its transition style, blending grand medieval defenses with lavish Renaissance interiors, and little has changed from the castle’s original design.
Visitors to the chateau can not only explore the library, chapel and bedrooms, take in the views from the parapet walk and brave a tour of the dungeons, but stroll through the idyllic grounds and alchemy gardens, learn how the drawbridges work and discover Bourré’s unique fascination with alchemy. During the summer months the chateau also hosts a number of special events, including Knight’s tournaments, heritage days and themed tours led by costumed guides.
The Chateau du Plessis-Bourré is located in the Loire Valley, around 16km north of Angers and is open Jul-Aug daily from 10am-6pm; Mar & Oct daily except Wed, afternoons only; Apr-Jun & Sept daily except wed 10am-12pm, 2-6pm. Visits are by guided tour only, held every hour, and adult admission is €10 at the time of writing.