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12 Famous Medieval Castles in France Worth to Visit

Most people would agree that an image of the Eifel Tower and delicious croissants come up when one thinks of France. But, the destination is so much more than beauty. Other than romance reigning all over the city, the city is also full of cultural and architectural landmarks. France is also home to over 40,000 palaces and castles that can need an entire lifetime for exploration. Moreover, the different French medieval castles go through frequent restorations and reconstructions to help maintain their integrity for future generations.

You can also visit these medieval French castles during historical reenactments and medieval festivals. It will help you see a new side of France with its culture and history in a new light. To make it easier for you to plan a trip, we have compiled a list of the must-visit fortresses in France.

In case you cannot visit any of the famous French castles, look for virtual tours and explore them. So, let’s jump right into it and start our journey to exploring medieval France starting with these 12 castles. Remember that these are must-visits that you need to include in the itinerary for your next vacation.

Medieval Castles in France

Château du Haut-Kœnigsbourg

Château du Haut-Kœnigsbourg - Medieval French Castles

The Château du Haut-Kœnigsbourg is one of the most striking medieval French castles that is also known as Haut-Kœnigsbourg. It is located in the commune of Orschwiller in Alsace, France’s Bas-Rhin region. You can visit the Vosges mountains which are located to the west of Sélestat to visit the Château du Haut-Kœnigsbourg. The castle is located in a strategic area on a rocky spur and overlooks the Upper Rhine Plain.

Château du Haut-Kœnigsbourg was highly significant from the Middle Ages to the Thirty Years’ War, after which the castle was abandoned. Then, the castle was rebuilt from 1900 to 1908 at the order of the German kaiser Wilhelm II. However, you should be prepared to face a little bit of a crowd as the castle receives over 500,000 visitors every year.

The Château du Haut-Kœnigsbourg has become a major tourist location over the years and is a must-visit. You should check out the architectural work on the castle’s interiors that makes it one of the most popular French medieval castles.

Timings: 9:30 AM-12 PM, 1:15 PM- 4:15 PM
Contact: +33 3 69 33 25 00
Location: 67600 Orschwiller, France (Get Directions)

Château d’Angers

Château d'Angers

One of the most famous medieval French castles, Château d’Angers was originally built as a fortress at a site occupied by the Romans. And, the reason can be entirely attributed to its strategic location. Château d’Angers, one of the best fortresses in France is located in the city of Angers in the Loire Valley.

A visit to the department of Maine-et-Loire will surely keep you stuck and engaged with its cultural significance. Château d’Angers was founded in the 9th century by the Counts of Anjou but was expanded to its full glory and current size only in the 13th century. The view of the river Maine from the castle is highly spectacular.

Château d’Angers was listed as a historical monument in 1875 and has been open to the public since. The remarkable structure is home to the monumental Apocalypse Tapestry and was used as an armory in the First and Second World Wars.

Timings: 10 AM-5:30 PM
Contact: +33 2 41 86 48 77
Location: 2 Prom. du Bout du Monde, 49100 Angers, France (Get Directions)

Musée-Château d’Annecy

Musée-Château d'Annecy - Medieval French Castles

If you’re looking to visit popular medieval French castles with exceptional settings, Musée-Château d’Annecy fits the bill. Not only a historical monument, but also a site of French culture and history, Musée-Château d’Annecy has a remarkable museum and several temporary exhibitions. Moreover, it was the former residence of the Dukes of Genevois-Nemours and the Counts of Geneva.

The Musée-Château d’Annecy or the Annecy Castle was only listed as a historical monument in 1902. Successive renovations over the years have transformed the castle but retained its majesty and elegance. The castle’s unique architecture and style are the subject of several conversations to this day.

We recommend you attend the different temporary exhibitions hosted for visitors. You will be able to admire collections tied to regional heritage, contemporary art, medieval sculpture, and much more!

Timings: 10 AM-12 PM, 2 PM-5 PM
Contact: +33 4 85 46 76 71
Location: Pl. du Château, 74000 Annecy, France (Get Directions)

Castle of Fleckenstein

Castle of Fleckenstein

If you’re looking to visit some huge and famous French castles, look no further! A visit to the Castle of Fleckenstein is sure to take you back in time to the medieval century. One of the most spectacular medieval French castles, the Castle of Fleckenstein is located high on a sandstone ridge.

The castle is a remarkable example of the six centuries of historical and cultural era witnessed. Overlooking the forests of the Vosges and the Palatinate, the Castle of Fleckenstein is a true masterpiece designed in the 12th century.

If you’re a fan of stories and legends, you’ll love to visit the Castle of Fleckenstein to be transported to another era. Whether you’re going to the castle alone or with your partner, Castle of Fleckenstein offers different tours to suit all.

Timings: 12-4 PM
Contact: +33 3 88 94 28 52
Location: Lieu-dit Fleckenstein, 67510 Lembach, France (Get Directions)

Château de Loches

Château de Loches - Medieval French Castles

Château de Loches is one of the oldest medieval French castles that you must visit. Also known as the Royal City of Loches, the castle is a valued member of the Loire Châteaux. Château de Loches was built on a long, rocky spur, and features some impressive and massive cultural structures.

It is one of the few French medieval castles with masterpieces from medieval military architecture. You will also enjoy the little winding streets filled with magnificent architectural gems.

Some of these include the Saint-Ours collegiate church, the late-medieval royal residence visited by the Joan of Arc, and the Romanesque gem-featuring pyramids called dubes. Château de Loches’ interactive visits are intriguing and a great way to visualize a place’s cultural and historical significance.

Timings: 9:30 AM-5 PM
Contact: +33 2 47 19 18 08
Location: 5 Pl. Charles VII, 37600 Loches, France (Get Directions)

Château des Baux-de-Provence

Château des Baux-de-Provence

The Château des Baux is one of the most fortified medieval French castles that was built in the 10th century. It is located in the Les Baux-de-Provence in the Bouches-du-Rhône in Southern France. A notable feature of the Château des Baux is that the fort was already inhabited in the Bronze Age. However, the fort only got popular and started growing after the medieval period.

Originally, it is one of the most famous French castles that reflects the cultural and historical significance of the era. The Château des Baux and its associated town were ruled by the lords of Baux for over 500 years. Hence, the Château des Baux has witnessed several ceaseless conflicts that ravaged Provence.

The castle has also witnessed the most famous minstrels and troubadours of the day singing songs of courtly love. However, the 15th century was the Golden Era for the Château des Baux before it came under the control of the kings of France.

Timings: 10 AM-5 PM
Contact: +33 4 90 49 20 02
Location: Grand Rue, 13520 Les Baux-de-Provence, France (Get Directions)

Murol Castle

Murol Castle - Medieval French Castles

The Murol Castle, also known as the Château de Murol is one of the best medieval French castles overlooking the town of Murol. The town is situated in the Puy-de-Dome department in the Auvergne-Rhone-Alpes region in France. Originally, the castle was built on a basalt outcrop in the 12th century. The prime focus of Murol Castle was surveillance over the neighborhood area and several roads.

Murol Castle was reinforced and rebuilt in the 14th century by Guillaume de Sam. The renovation commissioned a second chapel and the associated eastern buildings. Then, the Murol Castle became the property of Jehanne de Murol, the sole heir of the d’Estaing family in the 15th century. Following that, the castle was redecorated and revamped again.

So, the Murol Castle contains imprints of the history and culture of France over several generations. We recommend you check out their guided tours and sound and light shows at the Murol castle for a real-life experience of the medieval castle.

Timings: 10 AM-6 PM
Contact: +33 4 73 88 82 50
Location: Rue du Château, 63790 Murol, France (Get Directions)

Foix Castle

Foix Castle

The Foix Castle or the Château de Foix is one of the most popular French medieval castles dominating Foix town. It is located in the French department of Ariege and was built in the 7th-century architectural style. However, it was listed as a historical monument in 1840 by the French Ministry of Culture.

The castle is one of the most renowned castles that is known from 987. Foix Castle remained a garrison until the French Revolution after which it witnessed several grand receptions of governors. You can also check out the collections of the Ariege departmental museum that are housed at the Foix Castle.

Also, refer to the prehistoric Gallo-Roman and medieval archaeology for more information on Ariege’s history. You can also check out their museum arranging exhibits to showcase the castle’s history from the era of the counts. This will help people and visitors check out the recreation of the counts and other renowned historical figures.

Timings: 10 AM-6 PM
Contact: +33 5 61 05 10 10
Location: Pl. du Palais de Justice, 09000 Foix, France (Get Directions)

Chateau Guillaume-le-Conquérant

Chateau Guillaume-le-Conquérant - Medieval French Castles

Chateau Guillaume-le-Conquérant is located on the edge of the first foothills of the Armorican massif. The region has been inhabited by man since the Mesolithic period (7000 BC). After the recent restoration of the Chateau Guillaume-le-Conquérant, the exceptional castle has three keeps and a rampart flanked by fifteen towers.

The magnificent structure dominates the city and is a great sight. Whether you are a real fan of architecture, history, or culture, the Chateau Guillaume-le-Conquérant is the perfect destination. We recommend you watch the different film projections, stagings, and visualizations to experience the reality of living in a castle in the 12th and 13th centuries.

If you’re in search of an offbeat experience, you’ll love their castle challenges. It is a game of 20 challenges that are not only contesting but a great way to explore the scenery. Hence, Chateau Guillaume-le-Conquérant is one of the must-visit medieval French castles.

Timings: 10 AM-6 PM
Contact: +33 2 31 41 61 44
Location: Pl. Guillaume le Conquérant, 14700 Falaise, France (Get Directions)

Sedan Castle

Sedan Castle

Sedan Castle, also known as the Château de Sedan is located near the River Meuse. Spreading over an area of 35,000 soiree meters, the castle has witnessed famous battles including – the Franco-Prussian War and both World Wars I and II. Originally, the castle was built by Eberhard II von der Mark as a manor in 1424. Over the years, the castle has been modernized and stores different types of artillery.

However, in 1822, the associated church (the Church of Saint Martin) was demolished to be replaced with cannonball storage. Sedan Castle is one of the many fortresses in France that has been a major part of the great wars. During the Franco-Prussian war, the Battle of Sedan was fought where the Army of Chalons was defeated. Following the defeat, Napoleon III surrendered the next day.

In World War I, the castle ended up being used as a military hospital for the German army. And, similar to the Franco-Prussian war, the castle again became a site of a French loss to the Germans. It was only handed over to the city of Sedan by the French army in 1962.

Timings: 12-5 PM
Contact: +33 3 24 29 98 80
Location: Cour du Château, 08200 Sedan, France (Get Directions)

Châteauneuf Castle

Châteauneuf Castle - Medieval French Castles

If you’re looking for fortresses in France that look straight out of a fairytale, your search ends here. Châteauneuf Castle, one of the most popular medieval French castles has nine remarkable spaces. Start your tour from the courtyard that offers a unique view of the château’s buildings.

The view will seem like something straight out of a previous era. Then, the journey advances from the Grand Logis, the square tower, and much more. You can then move on to the Logis des Hotes which contains the renovated version of the castle’s interpretation center. Then, move towards the Flaming Tower or the Southwest Tower and experience the 14th-century architectural style.

The fifth space is the chapel which offers outstanding visuals to the 15th-century murals. You can then move on to the Logis Philippe Pot which houses several furnished living quarters. The last spaces include the loft offering access to the roof, the Châteauneuf tower, the castle’s vegetable garden, and their reception and shop.

Contact: +33 3 80 49 21 89
Location: Grande Rue, 21320 Chateauneuf, France (Get Directions)

Château de Montrésor

Château de Montrésor - Medieval French Castles

With over a thousand years of history, Château de Montrésor is one of the most famous French castles. Located in one of France’s most beautiful towns, the fortress has several Renaissance lodgings. Château de Montrésor offers a taste of the Poland culture which distinguishes it from other medieval French castles.

You can find several magnificent rooms at the Château de Montrésor open to the public. However, the most striking feature is the Italian boudoir artwork displays from the Renaissance and the Middle Ages. A walk along the parapet is all you need for the perfect end to your trip to mysterious French castles.

Contact: +33 2 47 19 27 50
Location: 11 Rue Xavier Branicki, 37460 Montrésor, France (Get Directions)

Conclusion

Medieval French castles are some of the most popular tourist locations and feature on everyone’s itinerary. After all, a visit to these French medieval castles is like time travel.

Although the list of such beautiful French castles is not exhaustive, we hope the article helps you shortlist some. Let us know which of these castles you’ll visit on your next France trip. You can also leave reviews and suggestions in the comments below to help out fellow travelers.

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