Château de Brézé


Brézé sits on top of a network of subterranean rooms and passages, 1.5km of them open to the public, that include a boulangerie, wine cellars, defensive bastions and a troglodyte dwelling dating from at least the time of the Norman invasions (11th century). Above ground, much of the U-shaped château dates from the 19th century, as do the many intricately painted neo-Gothic and neo-Renaissance interiors.

Don't miss the top floor of the West Tower, used in the 1800s as quarters for lower-ranking servants. The only way to see four rooms in the private Renaissance wing is to take a 50-minute tour (at least twice daily, at 10.15am and 3.30pm). The dry moat is the deepest (15m to 18m) in Europe that completely encircles a castle. All signs are in English. Situated 12km south of Saumur.

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