The Longueville Wing
At right angles to the Dunois wing Jean's son added the famous flamboyant gothic staircase. It represents a transition between the medieval spiral staircase, in its external tower, and the true renaissance edifice which finishes off the final stage of the building : the Longueville wing, added between 1509 and 1518 by François II de Longueville and his brother the Cardinal de Longueville.
This is in true Renaissance style, with flamboyant Italian balustrades, and a staircase which points the way clearly to many others in the Loire (with an "e") Valley itself. The steps contain numerous fossils, polished by centuries of shuffling feet. The rooms with their monumental gothic renaissance fireplaces are much bigger and decorated with numerous tapestries, 16th century carved chests and window screens.
The visit can be finished off by a look around the medieval herb garden and, from August 2001, an important exhibition of medieval gastronomy, complete with odours and tastes, will be available.
Before moving on to the remarkably well preserved medieval town, a walk down to the banks of the river below gives a different view of the castle, more austere and military. The height of the rock bluff adds to the verticality of the lines. The old mill, a park and the river provide walks and canoeing possibilities for any whose energy hasn't been completely absorbed by the hundreds of steps climbed so far.
|Steps to 1st floor||Fossils in limestone|
|Detail of staircase||Garden, keep, stairs|
|Bridge on the Loir||Steps down to river|