Sites to discover near Cinq-Mars-la-Pile
Classified as National Heritage
The town Cinq-Mars-la-Pile got it’s name from the strange gallo-roman tower located at the beginning of the town and overlooks the Loire Valley from 50 meters high. It dates back to the 2nd century and we still don’t know it’s utility.
Roman church from the 10th and 11th centuries. It’s transept and choir are classified as National Heritage. At the crossing of both, rises a classed Romanic steeple.
Located in the lower part of the castle, see the ruins of the defensive wall that used to protect the Jewish community in the medieval ages.
Cinq-Mars is situated in the heart of the Loire Valley, classed as World Heritage by UNESCO for the wealth and diversity of it’s patrimony as well as for the beauty of it’s landscapes.
Here are a few sites worth visiting :
Château de Langeais : 5 km from Cinq-Mars-la-Pile
It’s the castle with the most authentic furniture in the Loire Valley, beautiful reception rooms. We are plunged into the daily life of a 15th century prince, and discover the most important event to take place in the castle : the marriage of Charles VIII and Anne de Bretagne reconstituted with wax figures. You enter the castle over the magnificent drawbridge.
Château de Villandry : 11 km from Cinq-Mars-la-Pile
Completed around 1536, it’s the last of the big castles built on the Loire in the Renaissance. It is especially well known for it’s gardens « à la française », in particular the vegetable garden. Worth seeing at three different times of the year…
Château d’Azay-le-Rideau : 15 km from Cinq-Mars-la-Pile
Built in between 1518 & 1527 during the early reign of King François Ier, it’s one of the first and finest of the French Renaissance castles, a masterpiece not to be missed.
Château de l’Islette : 11km from Cinq-Mars-la-Pile
This jewel of the Renaissance sheltered the loves of Camille Claudel and Rodin. Surrounded by a remarkable garden at the edge of the water, it is widely open to visitors who wish to relax, have a picnic or take a boat trip.
Château d’Ussé : 20 km from Cinq-Mars-la-Pile
The first known Lord of Ussé was in 1004, the feared Viking Guelduin 1er de Saumur (“the devil of Saumur”). We also find on the castle’s grounds traces of prehistoric and gallo-roman life. This castle inspired Perrault to write his tale : « the Sleeping Beauty ».
Forteresse Royale de Chinon : 36 km from Cinq-Mars-la-Pile
An important historical site in the 100 Year War in which the French fought the English. It is here, in 1429, that the historical encounter between Jeanne of Arc and the future King of France Charles VII took place. The fortress (partially reconstructed) dominates the remarkable well-conserved medieval city.
ALSO WORTH SEEING…
The Lignière church, between Langeais and Azay-le-Rideau, the frescos have been recently restored.
The Balzac museum (where he used to live), the St-Cosme priory
– Of course the city of Tours only 17 km away !
– The Val de Loire aquarium in Amboise (43 km)
– Town of Richelieu (48 km) : constructed on the orders of the Cardinal in 1631, it is a masterpiece of the 17th century urbanism.
– Visit the petrified grotto in Savonnières (near Villandry) or troglodyte homes… and many other places of interest !
The Val de Loire has a rich tradition of wine growing, Cinq-Mars is only 30 km away from Bourgueil, Mont-Louis, Vouvray and Chinon. Here’s an anecdote : the cépage Gros Lot or Grolleau, was originally discovered at the foot of the gallo-roman tower in Cinq-Mars. Of the original 750 hectares of vineyards existing in the early 19th century there’s almost none left, but a large percentage of the « Rosés d’Anjou » are mixed with this seepage.
SPORT & NATURE
The Loire, last natural river in Europe and the longest in France, flows by Cinq-Mars. Great biodiversity, fauna & flora prospers in the valley. You can stroll, hike, bike on it’s banks.
Swimming pool in Langeais and Luynes
Walk on the Loire to Bréhémont, Langeais…
Leisure centers for water sports, Savonnière, Lac de Rillé and its small steam train.
Bicycle hire to Bréhémont, Langeais, www.loirevelonature.com
Tennis to Cinq-Mars la Pile
Hot-air balloon, flight in hélicopter
Troglodytic sites to Cinq-Mars, Langeais, Saint Paterne-Racan…