Explore the castles and chateaux around Paris

France is famous for its castles and chateaux and one of the most famous regions for exploring these fantastic buildings is the Loire, here you will find such stunning castles as chateaux Chenonceau. Most people don’t seem to realise that there are many of these buildings all around France and several of them surround the city of Paris.

One of the most famous of these buildings is the Chateau de Versailles which can be found on the outskirts of Paris. This is a location, like many chateaux, that requires a significant amount of time to appreciate properly. If you are heading out to this chateau then you would be wise to set aside at least a day.

The Chateau de Versailles is one of the world’s largest castles and it is regarded as one of the gems of French architecture. As well as this it is one of the most popular attractions in all of France and it also hosts some fantastic art masterpieces. There are also many other attractions in Versailles including several art galleries which house some of the world’s greatest paintings as well as the largest history museum anywhere in the world.

The region was also the location of one of the world’s most significant historic moments, the signing of the Treaty of Versailles which ended the First World War. This treaty was signed in the Hall of Mirrors, or the Galerie des Glaces, in 1919 and can be visited by the public.

The gardens that are found at the former Royal Palace are some of the most beautiful in the world and were designed by Andre Le Notre. As well as over 1000 fountains, the garden includes a wide selection of statues and sculptures which can be seen while you explore the grounds.

Another fantastic castle worth visiting in France is the Chateau de Chantilly which has an estate that spans nearly 8000 hectares. The castle itself is nestled within these grounds which are of the largest forested areas near Paris.

There is a fantastic museum there which displays historical paintings and anyone who enjoyed the Louvre Museum in Paris will find this fascinating. Like the Louvre, it has three Raphael paintings, which is more than any other museum or art gallery in the world.

The grounds are so vast that one of the best ways to get around them can be to hire a golf cart for the day. Using this, or simply travelling by foot, you can also visit the beautiful canal within the grounds. It is also worth visiting the museum dedicated to horse-drawn carriages which is also located in the forest.

This castle is particularly good for children if you are visiting in the peak season. There are specific activities and events organised for children throughout the year and in the summer months there is a fountain show which takes place every fortnight. This is a stunning sight and will appeal to both adults and children. What is most fascinating is that all the fountains are still operated by gravity, true to the way they were designed back in the 17th century.

These are only a few of the spectacular chateaux that can be visited around France. A restored castle which hosts three different museums is the Chateau de Compiegne and it is also well worth a visit.

For a fun day out with the family, Chateau de Thoory should also be considered as it has a small safari park to explore. This chateau also has the world’s only interactive maze which children are sure to love. Whichever of the spectacular buildings you choose to visit you are sure to have an enjoyable time and take home some wonderful memories.