From Tuesday to Sunday and bank holiday Mondays, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.Open May 29
René I of Anjou's "Château of Love" on its "emerald rock", the Château de Saumur played host to kings and prisoners. It is one of the greatest and last untouched remnants of princely architecture from the Valois dynasty in the Middle Ages.
The château appeared in all its glory in the Très Riches Heures du duc de Berry illumination and has had a turbulent past, narrowly avoiding demolition. The 11th century Roman tower was surrounded by four round towers before they were levelled off. Louis I of Anjou turned the château into a palace. In the 15th century, his son, Louis II, made it look how you see it now.
King René's spirit may live on but, for a century after his death, the château was left empty until the protestant governor Duplessis-Mornay moved in in 1589. The latter made a citadel built around the castle with redan and bastions, completed a long time after his deposition, which was demanded by Louis XIII. Under Louis XIV, the castle, used as a garrison and a prison, sharply deteriorated itself and Napoleon I’s assignment as state prison saved it from ruin. Saumur Council bought it in 1906 to restore it to house the municipal museum, approved Musée de France, displaying notably Count Charles Lair’s collection.