The Château d’Ussé’s creamy white towers and slate roofs jut out from the edge of the forest of Chinon, offering sweeping views across the flat Loire countryside, the flood-prone Indre River and the delightful formal gardens, designed by André Le Nôtre, landscape architect of Versailles. The château's main claim to literary fame is that it served as the inspiration for Charles Perrault’s classic fairy tale, La Belle au Bois Dormant, known in English as Sleeping Beauty.
Built on top of an 11th-century fortress, the modern-day château dates mainly from the 15th to 17th centuries. Some visitors come just for the gardens, in part because the furnished interior is not improved by a series of dodgy wax models recounting the tale of Sleeping Beauty. The château hosts annual exhibitions of clothing and fashion from centuries past.
The town of Rigny-Ussé is 12km northeast of Chinon.