The Château du Lude dates back to the early 10th century when the orginal six tower castle built on the river Loire protected the region of Anjou from incursions by the Normans and then the English during the Hundred Years War. King Louis XI’s chamberlain, Jehan de Daillon, acquired the château in 1457 and converted the fortress into a  comfortable and elegant residence. The lavishly sculptured facade is one of the purest examples of Italian Renaissance in France.  At the end of the 18th century, a new classical wing facing the river is added using the local white tuffeau stone.

Chateau du Lude

Viewed from above the deep dry moat and surrounding riverside gardens provide the perfect setting.

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The chateau illustrates how many such properties were “upgraded” over time to reflect the fashion of the time.  This extends inside the house where  the elegant apartments are a fine example of the different styles throughout the centuries, such as the Renaissance library and studio, painted by the school of Rafael, or the classical drawing rooms and the medieval kitchen, still in use today on special occasions. From the rooms to the outbuildings – dungeon, stables, tack room, farm and barn – the house and estate is a living example of French style and architecture throughout the ages.