France is famous for is numerous castles. Located in different places, they were so magnificent and so different! Some of them were powerful fortresses that could withstand any siege. Others looked more like a luxurious palace or a mansion. Especially the latter feature is inherent for castles located in the Loire valley. Sully-sur-Loire castle is a perfect example of classical medieval architecture.


Sully-sur-Loire castle

Photo: By Jackogamer, from Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 3.0)

 

Sully-sur-Loire castle

Photo: By GIRAUD Patrick, from Wikimedia Commons (CC-BY-SA-3.0)

The first mention of the castle in documents refers to the beginning of the XII century. In that distant years the castle was supposed to control one of the few sites where the Loire can be forded. In 1218, according to the order of the French King Philip II Augustus, a donjon was erected, and in 1395 four towers were built around it. But in the middle of the XIX century the donjon was demolished. Today, as well as hundreds years ago, the moat around the castle is filled with water.

Sully-sur-Loire castle

Photo: By Pline, from Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 3.0)

 

Sully-sur-Loire castle

Photo: Daniel Jolivet/flickr (CC BY 2.0)

 

In the 16th century, Duke de Sully became the owner of the castle. It belonged to them for several centuries —until 1962. It took a lot of their efforts to rebuild a castle so that it became more convenient for living. For this purpose, a new fortified house was built. It was a residence of the dukes. The park near the castle was also expanded. In order to protect the neighborhood from flooding, the banks of the Loire were fortified as well.

Sully-sur-Loire castle

Photo: Daniel Jolivet/flickr (CC BY 2.0)

 

Sully-sur-Loire castle

Photo: Daniel Jolivet/flickr (CC BY 2.0)

 

Sully-sur-Loire castle

Photo: Daniel Jolivet/flickr (CC BY 2.0)

In the middle of the XVII century Cardinal Mazarin, Anne of Austria and her son, King Louis XIV took refuge in the castle. And at the beginning of the XVIII century Voltaire was sheltered here, persecuted by the Régent, Philippe, duc d’Orléans.

Sully-sur-Loire castle

Photo: Daniel Jolivet/flickr (CC BY 2.0)

 

Sully-sur-Loire castle

Photo: By GIRAUD Patrick, from Wikimedia Commons (CC-BY-SA-3.0)

 

Sully-sur-Loire castle

Photo: Daniel Jolivet/flickr (CC BY 2.0)

 

Since 1962, the castle is the property of the Loire department. After the restoration work, the museum is located in it.

Sully-sur-Loire castle

Photo: By Pline, from Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 3.0)

 

Sully-sur-Loire castle

Photo: By Gilles (Flickr: Sully Sur Loire – Le Château), via Wikimedia Commons (CC BY 2.0)


Sully-sur-Loire castle

Photo: By Gilles (Flickr: Sully Sur Loire – Le Château), via Wikimedia Commons (CC BY 2.0)

 

The interior of the castle impresses with its diversity and magnificence. The chambers of Duke de Sully and his wife are filled supreme glory and grandeur of a whole era. Tourists are happy to visit the gallery of family portraits and the main hall. The royal bedchamber leaves a great impression as well. The museum has a rich collection of carpets, tapestries, old paintings and manuscripts. There also are ancient weapons here.

Sully-sur-Loire castle

Photo: By Gilles (Flickr: Sully Sur Loire – Le Château), via Wikimedia Commons (CC BY 2.0)

 

Sully-sur-Loire castle

Photo: By Wouter Hagens, from Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 3.0)

 

Sully-sur-Loire castle

Photo: By Gilles (Flickr: Sully Sur Loire – Le Château), via Wikimedia Commons (CC BY 2.0)

 

Every year Sully-sur-Loire castle hosts a festival of classical music. In 2000, it was included in the UNESCO World Heritage List.

Sully-sur-Loire castle

Photo: Brian Burger/flickr (CC BY 2.0)

Sully-sur-Loire castle on map: