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Thouars and the Château of the Dukes of La Trémoille

Thouars is the one most significant historic towns along the Thouet. Reaching here, you can’t miss the imposing castle on its rock, set above a meander in the river.

Built in 1635 on the site of a medieval fort, the Château des Ducs de la Trémoille is an imposing, rigorously neo-classical edifice, constructed atop an amphitheatre of terraces. 

The architectural ensemble is on a grand scale and quite magnificent. Its architect was none other than Jacques Lemercier, famed for his work at Versailles, the Louvre, the church of the Sorbonne University in Paris and the construction of the now mainly vanished Château de Richelieu not far east of Thouars. 

Thouars’s château was badly damaged at the Revolution in 1789 and subsequently transformed into barracks, then a private school, then a prison. Since 1933, it has been home to a state secondary school!

As of 2013, the château has been officially designated a Maison des Illustres, in recognition of the grand family connected with it. Guided tours are laid on from April to September by the Service de l'Architecture et des Patrimoines, the town’s heritage body. On the tours, you can explore the château’s magnificent interiors.

You can’t miss the splendid view down on the meander in the Thouet Valley from the château’s esplanade. Also take a look at the orangery, said to have served as model for the one later built at Versailles.

Visit Thouars

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