Like many of the other Valley chateaux, Usse was built on
the foundations of a small fortress but has had a very
tranquil history. Perhaps its location at the edge of the
forest of Chinon has something to do with this.The castle of
Usse was built for the Buiel family in the second half of
the 15th century. The family had distinguished itself in the
'Hundred Years War' and was seeking a home befitting there
new rank in society. The family did not stay long however
for Antoine De Buiel, the husband of Louis VI daughter, sold
the castle in 1485 to Charles who set about making many
improvements and is known for having the famous chapel built
on the grounds. They served as chamberlains to many of the
royalty and kings of their time. This castle has changed
hands many times over the years. 1885 the Count de Blacas
bought the chateau and his descendants still live and make a
home there today. The Marquis de Blacas who is the grandson
of the man who began the Egyptian Department at the Louvre,
currently resides there.
Usse is well furnished with the various pieces of furniture,
bought from the best cabinet-makers of the XVIII century and
many fine tapestries making it still one of the best
furnished in the area. During your visit you will find some
mannequins in period
costume strategically placed around the chateau in a failed
attempt to bring it to life.
Due to its fairytale appearance, it is believed that
Perrault wrote his famous story, “Sleeping Beauty” based on
Usse . Of the structure Perrault wrote, "Chateau de la Belle
au bois dormant". This is one of eleven fairytales he wrote
in a collection called, 'Les de ma mere l’ Oye.' The
Chateau’s battlement tower is surrounded with glassed-in
rooms showing wax figures in scenes from the "The sleeping
beauty". It might seem a bit 'tacky' to the purists but the
younger kids will like it!
Its also said that the castle influenced the design of
Disney's famous Cinderella's Castle in Disney World - it all
helps bring in the tourists!
The chapel, dedicated to St.Anne d' Usse, which is tucked
away in the gardens, contains items from the 15th & 17th
centuries and has been given the same architectural
attention to detail as the chateau.
both inside and out.
The terraced gardens of chateau d'Usse were designed by 'Le
Notre' of Versailles fame and are very pleasant and easy to
You'll probably be drawn to this chateau like many others
before you by its picturesque setting and colourful stories
which attach themselves to it but you might just come away a
bit disappointed. Its out of the way setting,the fact that
it is in fact only partly open to the public, (as little as
25%) and its relatively pricey entrance fee make it lower
down on the 'must see' list of the Loire Valley chateau but
then again there's Sleeping Beauty !
Adults € 14.00
Children 8 to 16 € 4.00
10 am to 6 pm (last admission at 5 pm)
Feb. March and October
10 am to 7 pm (last admission at 6 pm) Appril to
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