Center of the power of the Plantagenets then of the court of the dolphin Charles VII, the fortress of Chinon and its castle dominate and controls Vienna. Come visit this Mecca of Anglo-French history.
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Opening hours of the fortress of Chinon
From november to february: 9:30 - 17:00
March / April and September / October: 9:30 - 18:00
May to August: 9:30 to 19:00
Exceptional closure of the Fortress at 4 pm on December 24 and 31,.
Closed on January 1st and December 25th
Possible entry 30 minutes before closing
Visit - duration approximately 2 hours
Ticket Prices for visit of Chinon
Prices quoted are VAT included. Service and e-ticket fees apply per order.
An extra charge on the spot in case of exceptional event can be requested on the spot.
Reduced rate for 7-18 year olds, students, teachers and holders of a disability card
Tickets purchased online are valid for one year and may be dated. Please indicate and verify the chosen date of the visit before putting the tickets in your basket.
Electronic tickets - sending tickets by e-mail upon receipt of payment
Erected on a mass dominating the Vienne to control it, Chinon was fortified by the Romans who made it a castrum already evoked by Gregory of Tours. The fortress takes shape from the beginning of the Merovingian dynasty, whose vassals the Counts of Blois build a dwelling with a tower. Chinon will be at the center of the disputes between lords of Blois and Anjou. In the 10th century, the construction of a rampart to reinforce the defense of the castle comes to isolate it from the castrum. A larger rampart will replace it, in whose enclosure a priory will be built.
In the first decades of the 11th century, the Counts of Anjou took control of Touraine and the castle of Chinon. Anjou is found surrounded by the royal domain franc, Aquitaine and Normandy. They are the descendants of these lords of Anjou occupying the fortress of Chinon who will take the nickname of Plantagenet, dynasty that will reign over England, Normandy and Guyenne.
The Plantagenets and especially Henry II will develop the city. Located ideally in the heart of English possessions on the continent, Henry II Plantagenet deposits a portion of the royal treasury and temporarily installs his court. It is here that he died 1189, yielding his crown to his son Richard the Lionheart. Crusading party and died during a siege, Richard I passes power to his brother John Lackland who will marry Isabelle of Angoulême in the same castle of Chinon. Aware of the major strategic role of the city, it reinforces and further develops the fortifications, towers and ramparts of the fortress. Philippe Auguste will nevertheless end after a siege of nine months to tear the castle and continues the work initiated by his enemy, including building the dungeon Coudray.
The castle will be more or less neglected thereafter. The only significant event will be the trial of the Knights Templar. The Pope will send cardinals to interrogate the Knights of the Order of the Temple and make them confess their faults and thus repudiate them. Vain attempts since the King of France Philip the Fair will not take it into account.
It is during the Hundred Years War that Chinon and its castle will regain importance. Always stuck between Aquitaine and Normandy, driven from the North of France and the Parisian capital, the dolphin, son of Charles VI and Isabeau of Bavaria, will settle down with his court at the castle of Chinon. The dolphin is indeed married to Marie of Anjou, daughter of Louis II of Anjou and the famous Yolande of Aragon. It is therefore with his beautiful family that he comes to take refuge. Chinon becoming the summer residence and the itinerant courtyard between Loches, Amboise and Tours.
Chinon is also the place for the famous encounter between the dolphin Charles VII and the maid of Orleans from Lorraine Jeanne d'Arc, who will guide him to the cathedral of Reims to be crowned.
In the heart of western France, the city of Chinon loses all strategic importance and begins a slow decline. The fortress is sold as national property to the French Revolution.
In ruins, and dangerous, will require the intervention of Prosper Mérimée, responsible for listing the historic monuments, to begin the restoration work of the fortress.
Today it is possible to visit the remains of the fortress with the walls, the towers, the home. Chinon is one of the main cities located next to Saumur and Tours. The castles of Ussé, Langeais and Azay-le-Rideau are very close.
Chinon is also well known for its vineyards. Many cellars and tastings of Chateau Chinon wines can be visited.