The most northerly château of the Loire valley, the Château du Lude offers testimony to the evolution of French architecture from the Middle Ages through the 19th century. Its four different façades confer a peculiar charm to a prestigious historic monument, currently private property in the hands of the Count and Countess de Nicolay.
The first traces of the Lude go back to the 10th century. A feudal motte gave way to a huge fortress on the shores of the Loir, an imposing edifice constructed over a lengthy span of time, from the 13th to the 15th century. In 1457, the château became the property of Jehan de Daillon, chamberlain of Louis XI. Under the direction of Gendrot, architect of King René of Anjou, the Lude was entrusted to Italian artists, who were tasked with transforming a medieval fortress into a place of leisure. In our times, it is the only French castle to have conserved certain ornamental aspects of the Italian Renaissance. In the 17th century, the Lude was further enriched by the elegant architecture of the courtyard of honor, which typifies the French Renaissance. The symmetry and sobriety of the lines, the pilasters with their marble plaques and the windows’ baroque pediments combine to form an intricately labored and marvelously harmonious whole.
In 1751, the grand-nephews of the Daillons ceded the château to a Company of the Indies member of whom today’s proprietors are the descendants. Up until the eve of the French Revolution, under the supervision of the Marquise de la Vieuville, work projects shaped the patterns of life in the château. For example, the Marquise spearheaded construction of a simple and classical Louis XVI wing. After which, by way of succession, the château entered into the hands of the Talhouet family, whose members engineered a substantial number of transformations during the 19th-century..

The Château du Lude is located in a haven of remarkably cultivated and preserved greenery. From one generation to the next, different gardens around the monument have been drawn up and brought to life. As early as the 17th century, two terraces bordered by an elegant balustrade existed as sites for large-scale gardens. The most striking transformations date from the late 19th century and are due to the landscape architect Édouard André, who drew up plans for an English-style park to which manufacturing facilities were integrated. Underneath the terraces a French-style garden, refined and streamlined, follows the relaxing course of the Loir over more than 200 meters.
As for the Jardin de l’Éperon (garden of the promontory), a more contemporary creation, it was redesigned in 1997 by the Belgian landscape architect Augustin d’Ursel and consists in a labyrinth of boxwood and a valuable rosery. Visitors will savor the fragrances emanating from meticulously culled Chinese rosebushes. During “peak season” events, especially on the occasion of the Fête des Jardiniers in June, visitors can stroll down the alleys of the vegetable garden, which was restored in the 1990s. The romantic Jardin de la Source, the agricultural park and the Pousse botanical promenade are appreciated for their calm settings and their rare plant species.
As an amply furnished antique country home with their fully inhabited and sumptuously decorated interiors, the Lude château offers visitors the charm of a private residence inhabited for over two centuries by the same family.

Photo gallery of Château du Lude

Visits

  • Free individual visits
  • Guided individual tours
  • Average duration of the individual visit : 55minh
  • Groups welcome from 15 people
  • Guided group tours
  • Guided group tours on request
  • Group educational visits
  • Average duration of the group visit : 1hre
  • Pets are accepted
  • Available languages
    • Parlées : French, English
    • Panneaux : German, English, Spanish, Italian, Dutch

Activities

  • Conferences
  • Temporary exhibitions

Opening time

From April 01 to May 31, 2019
Monday10 AM - 12:30 PM and 02 PM - 06 PM
Tuesday10 AM - 12:30 PM and 02 PM - 06 PM
WenesdayClosed
Thursday10 AM - 12:30 PM and 02 PM - 06 PM
Friday10 AM - 12:30 PM and 02 PM - 06 PM
Saturday10 AM - 12:30 PM and 02 PM - 06 PM
Sunday10 AM - 12:30 PM and 02 PM - 06 PM
Details on closing times : fermé le mercredi
From June 01 to August 31, 2019
Monday10 AM - 06 PM
Tuesday10 AM - 06 PM
Wenesday10 AM - 06 PM
Thursday10 AM - 06 PM
Friday10 AM - 06 PM
Saturday10 AM - 06 PM
Sunday10 AM - 06 PM
Details on opening hours : ouvert en continu tous les jours
From 01 to September 30, 2019
Monday10 AM - 12:30 PM and 02 PM - 06:30 PM
Tuesday10 AM - 12:30 PM and 02 PM - 06:30 PM
WenesdayClosed
Thursday10 AM - 12:30 PM and 02 PM - 06:30 PM
Friday10 AM - 12:30 PM and 02 PM - 06:30 PM
Saturday10 AM - 12:30 PM and 02 PM - 06:30 PM
Sunday10 AM - 12:30 PM and 02 PM - 06:30 PM
Details on closing times : fermé le mercredi
From 01 to October 20, 2019
MondayClosed
TuesdayClosed
WenesdayClosed
ThursdayClosed
FridayClosed
Saturday02 PM - 06 PM
Sunday02 PM - 06 PM
Details on opening hours : ouvert uniquement les samedi et dimanche après-midis
From October 21 to November 03, 2019
Monday02 PM - 05:30 PM
Tuesday02 PM - 05:30 PM
WenesdayClosed
Thursday02 PM - 05:30 PM
Friday02 PM - 05:30 PM
Saturday02 PM - 05:30 PM
Sunday02 PM - 05:30 PM

Prices

Full adult price : from € 7.50 to € 9.00 Visite du Château et Jardins

Group price : from € 7.00 to € 7.00 Visite du Château et Jardins

Children's price : from € 4.50 to € 4.50 Visite du Château et Jardins

Full adult price : from € 5.50 to € 6.00 Visite seulement des Jardins

Children's price : from € 3.00 to € 3.00 Visite seulement des Jardins

Child group tarif : € 4.00 Visite en groupe du Château et Jardins

Group price : € 5.50 jardins uniquement

Child group tarif : € 2.50 jardins uniquement

Further information

Labels

  • Accueil Vélo
    Accueil Vélo
  • Jardin remarquable
    Jardin remarquable

Payment method

  • Credit card
  • Cheques and postal orders
  • Holiday vouchers

Access

  • Road (national / local)
  • Motorway at 22 km
  • Airport / aerodrome at 60 km
  • SNCF train station at 45 km
  • Bus station at 22 km

Services and equipments

  • Shop
  • Games area
  • Bar cafeteria tea room