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La Loire vue du ciel

Around the Castle

Abbaye de FleuryAbbaye de Fleury

Enter a haven of spirituality where meditation goes hand in hand with wonder. Nestled in a meander of the river Loire, the charming village of Saint-Benoît-sur-Loire is home to one of the most beautiful jewels of Roman architecture: an 11th and 12th century basilica whose most remarkable features are the church tower adorned with twelve ornamented capitals, the mounumental gate and the nave. In the crypt, a shrine preserves the precious remains of Saint-Benoît whose principles are still followed in the life of the community of monks to this day.

45730 Saint-Benoît-sur-Loire
+33 2 38 35 79 00

Oratoire de GerminyOratoire de Germigny

Built in approximatley 800 AD, the oratory was part of a luxury Carolingian villa built by Theodulf, a leading intellectual who contributed to the Carolingian Renaissance, and special assistant to Charlemagne. The church contains a Carolingian mosaic made up of 130,000 small glass cubes. It is the only creation of its kind in France, on the one hand due to its incredible preservation having been only slightly altered during the restoration of the church, and on the other hand, because of its unique representation: an open Ark of the Covenant surrounded by angels.

45110 Germiny-des-près
+33 2 38 58 27 97

Musée de LorrisMusée de la Résistance et de la Déportation à Lorris

A memorial museum that will immerse the visitor in the bleakest chapters of the history of Loiret, a hotbed of Resistance activity which paid a heavy price in deportation. Opened in 1988 and refurbished at the end of 2009, the museum retraces life in the département during the conflict through documents, testimonies, objects and weapons. A booklet for children (8-12 year olds) is available to facilitate their understanding of this period of history.

Esplanade Charles De Gaulle
45260 Lorris
+33 2 38 94 84 19

Château de GienChâteau de Gien

A descendant of a keen hunter and a falconry enthusiast herself, a place to practise hunting was required by the countess, Anne de Beaujeu, eldest daughter of Louis XI. She also had the royal château built, in a strategic location between the region of Sologne, rich with game, and the forest of Orléans. With its towers and turrets forming bold silhouettes, and its polychrome brick and stone architecture, the structure foreshadowed the French Renaissance. Changing from administrative building to prison in turn, the Château de Gien became the International Museum of Hunting in 1952 and remains so to this day. With approximately 10,000 objects and works of art, the collection retraces the history of hunting and the development of techniques. The château was built at the end of the 15th century by Anne de Beaujeu, eldest daughter of Louis XI and regent of France, on the site of a medieval fortress where Joan of Arc may have stayed. The architecture of the Château de Gien is characteristic of the beginning of the French Renaissance. Unfortunately, the interior was treated badly due to its various uses (sub-prefecture, court of law, prison).

Place du château
45500 Gien
+33 2 38 67 69 69