The historic town of Chinon—birthplace of author François Rabelais (1494–1553)—is dominated by the towering ruins of its medieval castle, perched high above the River Vienne. But Chinon's leading photo op is the medieval heart of town, where one of France's most time-burnished streets, the Rue Haute St-Maurice, has block after block of storybook, half-timber houses. Little wonder that Jean Cocteau used Chinon's fairy-tale allure to effectively frame Josette Day when she appeared as Beauty in his 1949 film La Belle et la Bête.
Chinon at a Glance
Elsewhere in The Loire Valley
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