- Guided tour of the castle, the French garden (depending on the weather)
- Guided tour of Chartres Cathedral and/or the surrounding area depending on the weather
Located one hour from Paris, the city of Chartres is the gateway to the Loire castle. Chartres is also world-famous for its impressive Cathedral. Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Cathedral of Notre-Dame de Chartres welcomes thousands of visitors from all over the world each year. You will be able to admire its Gothic architecture and its 2,600 m2 of coloured stained-glass windows, illustrating the Bible and the life of the various saints.
There is also a museum entirely dedicated to stained glass working techniques, at the International Chartres Center for stained glass.
On the banks of the Eure, the old town of Chartres houses the remains of this ancient medieval city. There are stone bridges, half-timbered houses that line the river, as well as old wash houses and even old water mills.
Located in the heart of the Eure Valley, just 18 km from Chartres, come and discover the sumptuous Maintenon Castle and its magnificent gardens.
Once upon a time, there was the story of a woman with a barely believable fate. The story of Madame de Maintenon is one of the most beautiful royal stories and the most beautiful love stories are known in France. It is about the love of one of the most powerful rulers of his time – Louis XIV.
Born in prison, Françoise d´Aubigné alias Madame de Maintenon is the daughter of a thug. She becomes the widow of the poet Scarron. A few years later a secret love and a morganatic marriage will be born between the Sun King and the one who was the former governess of his “bastard” children. She secretly married the King in 1683 who died at her side in 1715. Much more than a love story, Madame de Maintenon died in her turn a few years later, in 1719. The story of Madame de Maintenon is that of a governess who became the King’s wife!
The Maintenon Castle is made up of Small Apartments upstairs and Grand Apartments in which we discover the famous King’s salon or the former bedroom of Louis XIV in Maintenon. Discover an impressive collection of period furniture, belonging to the different owners of the castle, through the centuries.
The particularity of the Maintenon Castle also lies in its French gardens. The geometric and symmetrical shapes of this perfectly pruned and organized garden are the work of a single man: André Le Nôtre, gardener to the king from 1645 to 1700. Versailles, Chantilly, Vaux-le-Vicomte were all drawn by his talented hand. However, at the Maintenon Castle, he used a new element in his gardens: water, and tried to redesign the Eure river. He, thus, brought a touch of exceptional romanticism.
To this day, the current gardeners have reconstructed the French gardens according to the plans that the landscape architect Le Nôtre had devised in 1676.
Visit the Maintenon Castle in Chartres
To the delight of visitors, these gardeners have added multiple flowers thus offering 2 important blooms during the year: a summer and a spring. Depending on the seasons, an explosion of colours would emerge in the gardens of the castle. This living masterpiece becomes a real source of inspiration for visitors.
Not far from there is the Maintenon aqueduct. This is a project initiated by the King but unfortunately unfinished due to the War of the British Succession, which took place from 1688 to 1697. The purpose of this project was to supply water to the Palace of Versailles. Listed as a historic monument, it is possible to walk to the foot of the aqueduct and contemplate the magnificent forgotten arcades.
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