Château d'Azay


The Château of Azay-le-Rideau is situated in the Centre Val de Loire region. It was built on an island on the River Indre by a wealthy financier, Gilles Berthelot, during the reign of François I. Its purpose was to reconcile innovations coming from Italy with the French art of construction. Located in a green setting and lapped by the gentle flow of the Indre in which its facades are reflected, the Château of Azay-le-Rideau fully expresses the refinement of a château dating from the early French Renaissance (and is listed as a historical monument).


Chateau d Azay le Rideau

Rebirth of a monument

Built in the early part of the 11th century, the Château of Azay-le-Rideau was burned during the Hundred Years’ War, and later rebuilt during the reign of François I. A true synthesis between the French art of construction and the innovations in Italian architecture, the Château of Azay-le-Rideau is an authentic masterpiece of the Renaissance.

Chateau d Azay le Rideau

Lavish interiors

From the drawing-room to the royal apartments, the Château of Azay-le-Rideau will dazzle you with its interior decorations and furniture. Discover the bedchambers and other rooms to be visited, their hangings and paintings, which in themselves relate the royal history of France ...



Chateau of Azay le Rideau

A facetted diamond

Described by Balzac over lunch one day as "a facetted diamond set in the Indre", Azay-le-Rideau is one of the most famous châteaux of the Loire. Relatively small, the two main wings are surrounded by the Indre and a landscape garden. The entrance to the château, in the form of a triumphal arch, is sculpted with the initials of Gilles Berthelot and his wife; The lower parts of the central staircase are decorated with the salamander and ermine, emblems of King François I and his wife Claude de France.

The English-style landscape garden was designed and planted in the 19th century. It was at this time that an ornamental lake was dug on the west side. It was not until 1959 that the State estabilised the flow of the Indre at the base of the south façade by creating a second ornamental lake.



Listed as a Historical Monument since its acquisition by the State in 1905, the Château of Azay-le-Rideau is today managed by the Centre des Monuments Nationaux (French Monuments Centre).