Saumur Castle (France)
The Chateau de Saumur is one of the Loire Castles, located in Maine-et-Loire in the Loire Valley, it is of Medieval and Renaissance style.
First, property of the counts of Anjou and Plantagenet, the place was transformed into a fortress in the time of King St. Louis in the thirteenth century.
Subsequently, during the second half of the fourteenth century, a brother of King Charles V, the Duke of Anjou Louis 1st, transformed this fortress into a magnificent castle-palace. When the Duke died, the castle returned a royal domain.
During the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, this monument will become a prison for prisoners of war and following the decision of Napoleon 1st this old fortress became a state prison, and thus avoided destruction.
However, during the period of work aimed at adapting this place for its future role. An important policy change will alter his future. In 1814, the castle of the Loire is thus entrusted to the Ministry of War to become a weapons depot and ammunition.
Once the military left in 1889, exchanges took place between the state and the town of Saumur for the latter to become the owner of the castle.
In 1906, the city bought the Chateau de Saumur and directly began restoration work. The castle is, six years later opened to the public.
Today it is possible to discover two museums within the castle, the Municipal Museum and the Museum of the horse.
The Chateau de Saumur: an incredible collection
For over a hundred years now, the two museums of the castle have continued to grow. The municipal museum even has the label "Museum of France". With very different collections, ranging from decorative art to fine art, through archeology or the natural sciences, this diversity makes its strength and quality.
The museum is composed of the finest collections of pottery of the country, as well as tapestries classified for the vast majority in historical monuments, dating from the fifteenth to the eighteenth century.
Since the second half of 2006, the museum consists of new showrooms in the building nicknamed "the abbey". It is an ancient monastery church of Saint-Florent-le-Vieil, founded in the fourth century by Florent Anjou hermit. It is now listed as historical monuments since 1993 and classified in 1999.