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Chateau d Azay-le-Rideautourist information guide
Address: Château d'Azay-le-Rideau, Azay-le-Rideau, 37190
Tel: +33 (0)2 47 45 42 04
Opening Times: Apr-Sep:daily; Oct-Mar: Wed-Mon. | Admission Charge
Azay-le-Rideau's construction begun by Giles Berthelot - the rather corrupt and self important finance minister to Francois I. His desire was to create a truly Renaissance castle that stood on the island in the middle of the Indre river for all to see. However, with its towers and turrets the chateau is somewhat Gothic in style provoking Balzac to term it 'a multi-faceted diamond set in the Indre'.
Unfortunately Bertholet never finished his masterpiece as Francois I decided to crack down on wealthy middle class land owners and business men (including Bertholet who fled to Metz rather than face an audit and possible execution).
Today, Azay is simply enchanting with its facade shimmering in the reflective waters and its interior adorned with portraits and tapestries such as those hanging in the rooms that were once home to Louis XIII. At night the chateau and town come alive thanks to its popular son et lumiere shows.
Getting Here: Azay is situated 26kms southwest of Tours and easily accessible by train on the Tours-Chinon line. Alternatively, you could cycle on the D84 and D17 which run alongside the river from Tours.