Замки долины Луары для детей

Don’t rule out château visits. Dragging a
reluctant 12-year-old round an elegant – or
“boring” – eighteenth-century home is
probably not a great idea, but if you pick your
châteaux judiciously and prepare the ground
well it can be amazing how children who are
otherwise completely unengaged with history
or fine buildings can seize upon a certain
feature of the building or a particular historical
tale. One trick is to let your charges pick their
own château, perhaps from a selection of
postcards. the following châteaux may be
particularly suitable for children, though it’s
impossible to guarantee success.
Any château with a grand aspect, such as
those lording it over the river (Amboise, Chaumont,
Chenonceau, Chinon, Montsoreau, Saumur), and those with fine moats (Azayle-
Rideau, Le Plessis-Bourré, Sully-sur-Loire) or medieval towers (Chinon, Langeais, Loches, Mehun-sur-Yèvre, Montrichard) are
likely candidates. Otherwise, châteaux with dungeons or particularly bloody histories (Amboise, Blois, Chambord, Loches, Meung-sur-Loire) may be a good bet. Chambord
is particularly popular for its double-spiral staircase, which has amused children for
centuries, and you can take rent boats at Chambord, Chenonceauand Cheverny. St-
Brisson and Chinon have catapult demonstrations
in summer.

Some châteaux make a virtue of being
child-friendly. La Ferté-St-Aubin allows
children to explore the interior with complete
freedom and has an “enchanted island” and
miniature farm in its grounds; Ussé sells its
connections with Sleeping Beauty hard, with
a high tower stocked with fairy-tale scenes
acted out by shop-window dummies;
Brézé has a rabbit-warren of underground
passages to explore; Valençay has a small
zoo and maze; the Château du Rivau has
fairy-tale-themed gardens. Even in otherwise
adult-oriented châteaux you can sometimes
find special activities or worksheets for
children (though not always with Englishlanguage
versions), and many guides are
expert at a well-aimed joke or story designed
to make children feel included. The national
monuments website (wwww.monum.fr)
includes some child-oriented pages.
Older children and teenagers seem to
particularly go for Le Clos-Lucé, in Amboise,
with its models of Leonardo da Vinci’s inventions,
and the tapestries of the apocalypse
and the Chant du Monde, in Angers.