Montrichard-Val-de-Cher is a commune in the Loir-et-Cher department in the Center-Loire region, about 45 km east of Tours.
The city was officially created on 1 January 2016, after the merger of Montrichard (3,300 inhabitants) and Bourré (675 inhabitants).
The two localities were until then bordering on the right bank of the Cher, stretching on the slopes overlooking the course. In the 11th century, Montrichard was endowed with a castle and in spite of the Hundred Years War, took advantage of the rise of this region, which was prized by the kings of France. Its historic heart preserves a rich architectural heritage of this period. Two daughters of Louis XI married here and Francis I loved to hunt in the forests surrounding the city.
Bourré, for his part, developed an important activity related to his underground quarries (in the tuffeau stone), used in particular for the cultivation of mushrooms.
With the development of industrial activities (sheet metal work, pharmaceutical laboratory) and the maintenance of a viticulture offering a reputed wine, Montrichard-Val-de-Cher now also relies on tourism and its proximity to prestigious sites such as Chenonceau Castle. It is a step of choice for who visits or stays in the Loire Valley.
It is on the old town of Montrichard that the main part of the built heritage is concentrated which is worth discovering.
The church of Notre-Dame de Nanteuil dates from the 11th century for its oldest parts, but it has been the subject of important works of embellishment and enlargement over the centuries, notably under Louis XI who built the High chapel, with exterior staircases and a flamboyant (15th) style window. It is home to many paintings.
At the foot of the castle, you can also see the Church of St. Croix (11th century), whose choir and chapels were added in the 16th century, and the bell tower as the porch in the 19th century. Anne of France and Jeanne de France, daughters of Louis XI, were married there.
Logically, the tower is the main tower of the medieval castle erected in the 12th century. At its summit, one still enjoys today a remarkable panoramic view on the city and the valley.
Two museums are located here: the René-Galloux archeology museum, which features a collection of fossils and the Friends of Old Montrichard Ethnology Museum devoted to local history. The single entry ticket includes the "sonorized" tour of the dungeon and the museums. Open from April to September. Price: 3 and 5 euros. For further information, please call +33 6 48 57 94 86.
Note that the association managing the site also organizes guided tours of the city (same number).
Alone or guided, we continue the discovery of the historic heart of Montrichard by several houses, mansions or buildings such as the Hotel d'Effiat (dating from the 15th century for its oldest parts, Renaissance style), former hospital, now library, Surrounded by an interesting park, or the House of Preaching (12th century), and several other half-timbered dwellings of the fifteenth century. We will not forget the bridge over the Cher, which preserved some medieval elements. Despite the extension of the city in the 19th and 20th centuries, the whole of this historic center is worth a visit.
In Bourré, which still retains a village aspect, the Saint-Germain church, dating from the 16th century, houses a main altar carved from the same period.
But here, it is thus the quarries where were once extracted the stones of tuffeau that made the celebrity of the locality. This is the case of the Caves Champignonnières des Roches, which were transformed as early as the 19th century into a production center for mushrooms known as Paris, among others. Visits from Easter to November. Information on +33 2 54 32 95 33.
Another site, the Magnanerie, proposes to discover troglodyte dwellings, and an impressive network of galleries where were especially raised silkworms. Closed from December to March. Paying tour. Information on +33 2 54 75 50 79.
On the leisure side, many hiking trails have been built in the territory of Montrichard-Val-de-Cher, as well as circuits for mountain biking. They include heritage features, vineyards but also the forest that still covers part of the hillsides. Also worth mentioning is the greenway along the Cher River. Brochures and information on +33 2 54 32 05 10.
In summer, you can enjoy the Parc Plage on the banks of the Cher River in Montrichard, which was built in 1936 for the first paid holidays. Swimming in June and August, and many sporting activities: tennis, canoeing (to discover the city and the valley of the Cher from a different angle), pedal boats, skate-board... Bicycle hire possible. Information on +33 2 54 71 66 34. You can also prefer the Val de Loisirs aquatic center with indoor or outdoor pools, play and wellness facilities. Admission: 4,35 and 5,45 euros. Information on +33 2 54 71 74 75.
Descent of the Cher in canoe: The descent of the river in canoe is done to the rhythm of the water that flows, the wooded banks offer a change of scenery, calm and reassuring. Rental of canoes, by the hour, the half day or the day from the beach of Montrichard to reach Chenonceau; The return is by vehicle.
In June, the 3rd or 4th Saturday, feast of Saint-Jean, with concerts, conflagration, fun activities at Parc Plage.
In July, the weekend extends the national holiday: medieval market in the historic center of Montrichard, "village of painters" at Parc Plage, and sparkling wine fair "Bulles au Center".
The 3rd weekend of July, in Bourré, festival of the mushroom. Gourmet animations, vide-grenier, festive and musical evening with torchlight retreat and fireworks.
The second week of October, festival of the tale Amies Voix (readings, strolls counts).
The third weekend of October, the orchid show.
Finally, to discover the richness of the terroir, two weekly markets take place on De Gaulle in Montrichard, on Monday afternoon and Friday morning.
Cycle trip to Chenonceau organized by the Tourist Office or by your care by the bike path.
Small circuit by car to discover the three castles overlooking the Loire; Departure from Montrichard, Chaumont, Amboise, and return by Chenonceaux spanning Cher. You can also consider joining the latter by the bike path.
The Beauval Zoo is less than 20 km away, to be reached by a quiet departmental road.
The International Garden Festival is 15 km away.
Amboise with its three castles. Clos Luce, the royal castle and Gaillard castle are a quarter of an hour away.
Montpoupon will delight children and adults with its bucolic setting.
Finally, discover the troglodytes and the cellars.