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Gumbo's Pic of the Day, Dec. 3, 2013: Chateau Usse, Loire Valley, France

Loire Valley-2013-006 Chateau Usse


One of my favorite places in Europe is France's Loire Valley.   That's partially because of its pastoral beauty -- rolling hills, farmland, vineyards, forest, dairy herds  -- but largely because the people are much more relaxed and easier going than in the big European capitals.   And there's so much great history to explore in the Loire.


A huge tourist draw to the area is its many chateaus.  There are hundreds of these grand homes throughout the valley, most in good repair, some still being used as private homes (often by celebrities from around the world).  Many offer tours of the home and gardens as a way to offset maintenance costs.


This particular chateau is Chateau Usse, near Chinon.  Beautiful designed and constructed, sitting beside a small river, the castle is built like most homes of the Loire -- a pleasure palace, not a fortress of place of defense.  Some say this is the building that inspired Walt Disney's Cinderella's Castle, but I've heard that same claim made of Neuschwanstein in Bavaria, so who knows? It's certainly a lovely place.


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  • Chateau Usse, Loire Valley, France

Twitter: @DrFumblefinger

"We do not take a trip, a trip takes us".  John Steinbeck, from Travels with Charlie

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