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Chateau d’Azay-le-Rideau

Château of Azay-le-Rideau is a French castle near Tours, Indre-et-Loire.

Château of Azay-le-Rideau History 

The castle was built between 1518 and 1528 for Gilles Berthelot, a financier from Tours in the service of Francis I. The stone château, surrounded on three sides by the River Indre, has an L-shaped plan under steep slate roofs.

The Medieval Château of Azay, belonging to the Ridel family, had been destroyed by fire in 1418, although its original keep survived. The château subsequently passed to the Berthelot family, and in 1518 Gilles Berthelot put his wife, Philippe Lesbahy, assisted by the curé of St-Cyr, Guillaume Artault, in charge of supervising its reconstruction.

The chateau was confiscated in 1528 by Francis I, after Berthelot was implicated in the prosecution of Jacques, Baron de Somblançay, Minister of Finance to Francis I.This effectively put an end to the building programme, leaving unfinished two of the four wings.

In 1845 the medieval keep was rebuilt as a circular tower in Renaissance style, terminating the east wing, and a corbelled circular corner turret was added at the end of the south wing over the moat, to balance the turret built in the 16th century.

Château d'Azay-le-Rideau Style

Each three-storey wing consists of five bays marked out by mullioned windows, united vertically by pilasters and ending with elaborately decorated gables above the third-storey dormer windows.

These interrupt a false walkway with battlements and machicolations. The main decorative feature is the escalier d’honneur in the centre of the south wing. This is signalled externally by a virtuosic four-storey frontispiece with alternating pairs of superimposed round-headed and basket arches forming the entrance and the lighting to the landings.

The frontispiece is articulated with pilasters, half columns, carved relief panels and niches for statues; it terminates in a carved gable with all’antica candelabra and other Renaissance ornaments, reaching to the level of the roof ridge.

Within, the straight flights of the Italianate staircase are covered with a coffered vault decorated with profile medallions all’antica, rosettes and other motifs.

Château d'Azay-le-Rideau Visits

Opening hours:(*Please note that the last admissions is one hour before closing)

  • October - March : 10,00 - 12:30 / 14,00 - 17:30
  • April - June and September : 9:30 - 18,00
  • July - August : 9,30 - to 19,00
  • Closed: The castle is closed on 1st of January 1, May 1 and 25 of December.


  • An adult ticket cost is 8€
  • A discounted ticket for more than 20 persons is 6€
  • School group ticket: 30€ for max 35 students and 2 accompananying adults (additional adult ticket - 6€)
  • Children - under 18 - free entrance (family visit)
  • Young people (age 18-25) - free entrance if they are UE citizen or France residents
  • Disabled persons plus escorts - free entrance

Contact details:

Phone: +33 /(0)2 47 45 42 04
Fax: +33 / (0)2 47 45 26 61
Official website:

Other Castles in Loire Valley to visit

Chateau de Chambord,
Chateau de Brissac,
Chateau de Blois,
Chateau de Chenonceau
Chateau d Anet

Chateau d'Azay-le-Rideau Map

Location: Château National d'Azay le Rideau: 19 Rue Balzac, 37190 Azay-le-Rideau, France. Use this map to get directions:

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Château d'Azay-le-Rideau Photos

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Photos © Frédérique Voisin-Demery

Château d'Azay-le-Rideau

Château d'Azay-le-Rideau - reflexion

Château d'Azay-le-Rideau garden

Château d'Azay-le-Rideau courtyard
Chateau d'Azay-le-Rideau detail
Chateau d'Azay-le-Rideau inside
Chateau d'Azay-le-Rideau room
Chateau d'Azay-le-Rideau wall detail