Sunday, January 28, 2007


One of the turrets at Azay is reflected in the moat which is actually part of the river Indre.

Just to the west and a bit south of the city of Tours, on the Indre river (a tributary of the Loire), is the town of Azay-le-Rideau, home to a very pretty renaissance château. In fact, the castle is built right on the river, which is dammed and controlled to produce a calm reflecting moat around the building.

The castle sitting in its reflecting moat.

The castle is set in a verdant park just adjacent to the center of town (where you'll find shops and places to eat). The current building was built in the early 16th century, but the place originally belonged to a knight of King Philippe Auguste named Ridel d'Azay. The whole place was burned in 1418 by Charles VII and was called Azay-le-Brûlé (Azay the Burned) until the 18th century.

Ken poses on a bridge in the parc du château.

The people who live here are called Ridellois, recalling the name of the original lord-owner. In my opinion, the place is very pretty, but a bit too pretty. The town is touristy and expensive and the feel is more like Disneyland than a real place with a history.

Another view of le château d'Azay-le-Rideau.

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