Fun For All the Family at the Beautiful Château de Sully-sur-Loire
This château at the heart of the Loire valley will conjure up images of fairy tales and adventures for visitors of all ages, perfect for a family holiday.
The first thing that will spring to mind when you see the enchanting towers and turrets of the medieval Château de Sully-sur-Loire is that this must have been the inspiration for Charles Perrault when he wrote about Cinderella’s arrival at the Prince’s ball.
Truly the stuff of fairy tales, the elegant bridge over the wide moat, the round towers with their pointed roofs, the large courtyard and immaculate gardens all contribute to a sense of romance that seems to exude from the historic Château.
Watch the children’s eyes open in wonder as they take in a castle which would make a suitable home for any Disney princess or swashbuckling Musketeer. Now owned by the local Loire council and running a series of entertaining events for all ages, this is a great place to stop off during a family holiday to the Loire.
The History of the Château
The Château was first constructed in 1395 for Guy de La Trémoïlle, Lord of Sully, by the king’s architect Raymond du Temple. It was originally two buildings – a keep to protect the bridge across the Loire River and a palatial residence for the Lord of Sully. However, certain parts of the Château, such as it’s Philippe Auguste tower, date back to thirteenth century and were part of an older village.
Throughout the seventeenth and nineteenth centuries, the Château was remodelled and rebuilt by successive members of the Sully dynasty. The Château managed to stay in the family’s hands throughout the French Revolution, thanks to the then Duke of Sully who was a vocal supporter of the ideas of the revolution. Following several fires it was eventually sold to the Loiret local council in 1962.
It is not just the Château’s physical history which is impressive; it has also been the site of many illustrious gatherings over the centuries, hosting kings and queens as well as some of the great writers and thinkers of the times. Mazarin and Voltaire were both guests here, as was Anne of Austria, who took refuge in the Château during the Austrian insurrection of 1652.
One of the most interesting places to visit in the castle is the Hall of Honour, where the portraits of the Sully family through the ages hang. They give a fascinating insight into changes of fashion, position and art through the centuries.
Family Holiday Entertainment
While parents gaze in awe at the stunning architecture, the elegantly restored rooms and the beautiful artwork, children will find plenty to entertain them at the Château de Sully-sur-Loire. Seasonal entertainment can include anything from puppet shows in the great hall to a murder mystery examining the disappearance of Count Maximilian de Bethune-Sully in 1902, hosted by the steward of the castle.
Other events throughout the year include exhibitions, concerts and an annual classical music festival held in June.
If you’re planning a family holiday to the Loire Valley, such as our family cruise aboard the Renaissance, then make sure you stop off at the Château de Sully-sur-Loire for a glimpse into the history of this fascinating region and a touch of fairytale magic.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Paul Newman is the Marketing and E-Systems Executive for European Waterways, the UK's most respected provider of luxury all-inclusive barge holidays. If you're looking for the perfect family holiday in France, Italy or other great destinations, European Waterways has an itinerary to suit. Part of a team of experienced barging aficionados, Paul is first in line to endorse the perks of a slow-paced barge cruise to anyone looking for a unique holiday experience.