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Fodor's France 2014
Château de Saumur
Château de Saumur Review
If you arrive in the evening, the sight of the elegant, floodlighted, white, 14th-century Château de Saumur takes your breath away. Look familiar? Probably because you've seen it in reproductions from the famous Très Riches Heures (Book of Hours) painted for the Duc de Berry in 1416 (now in the Musée Condé at Chantilly). Inside it's bright and cheerful, with a fairy-tale gateway and plentiful potted flowers. Owing to renovation of the castle walls, the two museums based here, the Musée des Arts Décoratifs (Decorative Arts Museum) and the Musée du Cheval (Equestrian Museum), have been closed, but the museums do exhibit on the first floor of the castle, and visitors can also access the gardens and panoramic terrace. From July through August there are temporary expositions open in certain areas of the château, as well as Medieval reenactments of jousting matches during the day, and a sound-and-light show in the evening. From the cliff-side promenade beyond the parking lot there's a thrilling vista of the castle on its bluff against the river backdrop.
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