Sunday, 5 August 2007

Château d'Ussé

Reputed to be the château that inspired the story of Sleeping Beauty, or in French, Belle au Bois Dormant, it certainly does have that fairy-tale look about it, with all the turrets.

A view taken from about the level of the entrance.

From further up the pathway leading to the castle itself, the wall looks as though, at the very least, it could do with a sandblasting.

As you walk around, although it is very pleasant, you become aware that it's quite shabby in places.

And mannequins turn up here, there, and everywhere.

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The gardens from above.

A view from the road which looks very much as though it was once the driveway, better seen from this shot in another blog, which has some lovely photos.

Apparently, the building was once a quadrilateral and the front wing was demolished to give a better view.

This was one of the more expensive places to visit, but as you wandered around, the impression was of faded grandeur, even crumbling grandeur. It didn't have any of the opulence that other chateaux had, and there were few flowers.

Their efforts to provide an attraction by staging scenes from Sleeping Beauty didn't appeal to me at all, in fact I found them tawdry. We didn't manage to take any decent photos of them because they were behind glass panels, but you can see an example here. They had no atmosphere about them, they looked just like the mannequins from a shop window but dressed up in Disney costumes. Perhaps I was having a bad day.

Without a doubt it must cost a fortune to maintain a place like that. It is privately owned, but I have the idea that many of the Loire châteaux are, (some research needed there) though most of the others I have seen appear much better maintained. It would be a tragedy if beautiful buildings were to disintergrate and eventually be lost to future generations.


  1. It's always sad to see once proud building succumb to shabbiness and neglect. However, I'm in two minds about preserving buildings once they become an impossible drain on someone's finances. I feel the same about many of the Heritage sites in UK. We can't preserve everything so perhaps we should let natural selection take its course and allow some things to wither away.

  2. This is a chateau I have never visited, so delighted to get the chance at least to see it. The outside of the building and the grounds are beautiful, but I agree that the scene setting is tawdry - in fact rather gross and quite out of keeping.

  3. Well, we don't have to like everything we see when we're around sightseeing :-)

    I appreciate your honesty, I believe in writing ones true opinion.

    Never the less, it's always interesting to see these old castles everywhere around the world, even though one get a bit sad when they're not taking care of properly.

    Welcome over to see a bit of London tomorrow :-D

  4. Wanna have a peek with London eye….?

    London is for your feet as Lifecruiser ship has anchored at Thames….. *giggles*

  5. I do see what you mean LR. It's just my magpie instinct of wanting to keep everything!

    Thanks Elaine, I'm glad you agree about the "scenes".

    And thanks too, Captain Lifecruiser.

  6. This is an impressive Chateau in beautiful surroundings. Thanks for sharing.

    PS. Oui, on a deja venue



Forethoughts, afterthoughts, any thoughts. Tell me.


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