The Château de Meung-sur-Loire
This is the must-see monument during your say in the Terres du Val de Loire. The Château de Meung-sur-Loire, one of the largest and most ancient châteaux in the Loiret, has many surprises in store for you! Nicknamed the “two-faced château”, as it is distinct in that it has two façades dating back to two different eras. The first Medieval façade dates from the 13th century, whereas the second dates from the 18th century.
Step through the gates of this impressive edifice, a silhouette so familiar to the inhabitants of Meung-sur-Loire, for many centuries.
The residence of the Bishops of Orléans
Until the French Revolution, the Château de Meung-sur-Loire was the prestigious residence of the Bishops of Orléans. It is one of the rare châteaux built by and for bishops. During the 13th century, the bishop Manassès de Seignelay built a true palace, worthy of his rank. The Château was extended during the following centuries, and in particular during the Hundred Years War, when the bishops further extended the château and added a new tower to it.
In 1706, the bishop Fleuriau d’Armenonville restored the Château, which was then considered as dilapidated. The Château de Meung-sur-Loire kept its medieval architecture on the town side, however, on the garden side, the façade was modified and the walls painted, to offer the appearance of a classical Château. The Château de Meung-sur-Loire is one of the rare painted châteaux in France.
The remarkable figures
The Château has welcomed illustrious figures within its walls. It was a strategic location in the conflict opposing the English and the French during the Hundred Years War. Joan of Arc delivered the Château after her victory in Orléans. Many kings stayed there, such as François Ist and Louis XI. Let’s not forget the poet François Villon, who was imprisoned in the Château’s jails.
A Château that can be visited from the attic to the vaults
Come and live the château life in Meung-sur-Loire! The tour will lead you from the attic to the dark vaults, including the magnificent neoclassical chapel and the 18th century bathrooms, in which over 2,000 objects are exhibited. The perfect opportunity to discover the daily life in a seigneurial residence through the centuries. Visiting the Château de Meung-sur-Loire is the promise of a true voyage back in time!
The visit includes original and surprising elements such as an odorama course, “boitakois” (boxes) which highlight objects in the form of fun quizzes, and a video show in the vaults.
A break in the Château gardens
Finally, enjoy the superb 7-hectare wooded gardens implanted right in the city centre, which offer the nostalgic reminiscence of foregone splendour. Although nothing subsists of the French-style gardens which adorned the terrace, traces still remain of the English-style gardens created just before the French Revolution.
Under the foliage, “English-style” river beds can be made out. Here and there, pathways lined with lime trees fade into the undergrowth. The ghost of a refined pavilion, which once hosted impromptu parties given by His Lordship the Bishop, can be glimpsed and is now only asking to be brought back to life.
Events not to be missed
- Easter at the Château, mid-April
- Snapshots of History, July and August
- White Night Party, 15 August
- The Historical Fashion Week, early October
- Halloween at the Château, 30 and 31 October
- Christmas at the Château, December