Chateau d’Azay-le-Rideau

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

Chateau d'Azay-le-Rideau

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.

Chateau d'Azay-le-Rideau wall detail

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 program, 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

Chateau d'Azay-le-Rideau detail

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

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

Chateau d'Azay-le-Rideau interior

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 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 admission is one hour before closing)

Chateau d'Azay-le-Rideau

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 the 1st of January 1, May 1, and 25 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 accompanying adults (additional adult ticket – 6€)
Children – under 18 – free entrance (family visit)
Young people (age 18-25) – free entrance if they are UE citizens 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 Location

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

Chateau d’Azay-le-Rideau Map

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