Château de Brézé


30 April 2024  |  Architecture, Culture

Discovering little-known castles in France

France is known for its iconic castles such as Versailles and Chambord but it is full of lesser-known gems that are just as impressive. In this article, let's discover three hidden treasures that are worth discovering for their exciting history, unique architecture and timeless beauty.

Château de Brézé in Anjou

Located in the Loire Valley, Château Brézé is an unknown gem which makes it quite special. These vast underground spaces shelter a troglodyte city and a network of underground galleries. These secret passages were once used for defensive purposes, but today offer a unique experience to visitors. This castle has very pretty French gardens and well-preserved interiors testifying to its rich historical past. A visit to Brézé is a fascinating dive into the history and architectural ingenuity of the Anjou region.

Chateau Brézé

 © Rbeaud — Travail personnel, CC BY-SA 4.0, 

Visit to the castle

It is possible to visit the castle and its underground passages. Ten centuries of history have made Brézé an extraordinary castle. The tour will take you through different places where a unique atmosphere still reigns. You will discover the largest dry moats in Europe, a unique troglodyte ensemble as well as the elegant Renaissance residence. Discover the private apartments during your visit. The billiards room, the neo-Gothic dining room, the Grand Salon...

Château Hautefort: pearl of the Dordogne

Nestled in the picturesque Dordogne countryside, Château de Hautefort is another little-known treasure of France. Built in the 17th century, this castle impresses with its elegant Renaissance architecture and its magnificent English gardens.

The Château de Hautefort is also famous for having served as the setting for several films, notably "Le Hunchback" with Daniel Auteuil. A visit to Hautefort not only offers the opportunity to explore a magnificent castle, but also to enjoy the picturesque landscapes of the surrounding Dordogne.

This place steeped in history, preserved and restored by its various owners for more than a millennium, can still be visited today. It is the fruit of a family’s strong commitment to a value: beauty.

Find prices and entry tickets:

Chateau Hautefort

 © Père Igor — Travail personnel, CC BY-SA 3.0, 

The gardens

The Hautefort estate also includes more than 3 hectares of boxwood beds punctuated with topiaries in astonishing shapes, cut entirely by hand twice a year. More unusual, the plant pergola stretches into a long green tunnel of almost 70m, where it is nice to cool off. The immense espalier of magnolias overlooks the Hautefort parterre, made up of 10,000 plants of boxwood… In 1853, the Count of Choulot undertook a complete renovation of the Hautefort gardens at the request of Baron Maxence de Damas, owner of the Château de Hautefort through his marriage to Charlotte de Hautefort in 1818. Choulot carried out an ambitious plan in Hautefort which responded to his desire to integrate the castle, the gardens, the park and the surrounding landscape into a coherent and precious whole. The old forecourt has been converted into French-style gardens, with lawn beds bordered by flower beds. Another ordered parterre is created at the foot of the terrace of the main courtyard.

A park conducive to relaxation: the park offers varied views of the countryside and the surrounding villages, with its flower beds, its shaded paths and its remarkable trees, such as the majestic Lebanon Cedar.

Chateau Hautefort

 © Joseph Plotz — Author's own work, transferred from en.wikipedia, CC BY 3.0, 

Château de Tanlay: a masterpiece of Renaissance architecture

Located in the Burgundy region, Château Tanlay is a true hidden Renaissance treasure. Built in the 16th century, this castle is distinguished by its slender towers, water moats, and facades decorated with detailed sculptures. In addition to its impressive architecture, Château de Tanlay also houses a collection of remarkable works of art and offers guided tours that immerse visitors in the fascinating history of this exceptional place.

Chateau de Tanlay

 © Pline — Travail personnel, CC BY-SA 3.0, 

Tours and tickets:

Internal visits: Visits are only made during guided tour hours. Garden tours: Self-guided tours Group visits and tastings: By reservation All the information here:

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Amélie Roca

I am a Community Manager for Pure France as well as the host of Pure France TV, presenting high quality rental homes all over France.

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