Châteaudun is a very attractive town with its hilltop castle and period houses lining the picturesque streets of the old town.
Dominating the Loir valley, the castle combines Medieval, Gothic and Renaissance architectural styles. The interior is open to the public and features two staircases, one Renaissance and the other Gothic, a keep, vaulted kitchens that house an exhibition about gastronomy in the Middle Ages, a tapestry collection in the Dunois wing, a medieval garden with medicinal plants, and the Sainte-Chapelle chapel which contains remarkable polychrome statues.
Around the castle, the narrow paved streets lined with old houses are particularly lovely to wander around, especially the Saint-Lubin street. In addition to this rich built heritage, there are some charming parks to relax in. The Mail footpath is dotted with benches and offers a beautiful panoramic view of the Loir Valley. A footpath leads off it down to the banks of the Loir River.
The Fine Art and Natural History museum exhibits an impressive ornithology collection (more than 2500 birds), but also paintings, archaeological objects and pieces from Egypt and Asia. This place also offers a space dedicated to the history of the city.
A major medieval festival, the Foire aux Laines, takes place every year over the first weekend of July.
Châteaudun, near Paris (1h30) and Chartres, is located in the valley of Loir and on the way to Santiago de Compostela.
It is distinguished by the beauty of its site, at the top of a rocky promontory overlooking the Loir, and the majesty of its castle, integrated in the prestigious castles of the Loire.
The city, with its 58 registered and classified sites and monuments, is discovered during a pleasant tour of the historic district. Spared by the fire of 1723, which devastated part of the town, one can admire houses of the 15th and 16th centuries, some of them with wooden sides, and old streets. The Place du 18 octobre, in the heart of the city center, is the result of the reconstruction of the city in the 18th century by Jules Michel Hardouin. It is decorated in the center of a monumental fountain in neo-Renaissance style.
The counts Thibault the Tricheur and Jean de Dunois left a precious heritage to the city: the castle whose visit is unavoidable. It has a 12th century circular keep among the best preserved in the world, a princely Sainte-Chapelle, a very beautiful staircase, the precursor of the great French Renaissance staircases and a collection of tapestries.
Near the promenade of the mall where the city tour begins, is the Museum of Fine Arts and Natural History with various collections including a rich gallery of ornithology.
Below, the caves of Foulon allow to admire the geological richness concealed under the city.
Châteaudun is the starting point for many hiking, cycling, mountain biking, canoeing and horseback riding. Many fishing sites along the Loir, in water or river are also accessible.
The Foire aux Laines, a big medieval festival, is held during the first weekend of July in the historic quarter, while the city center is animated during the end of the year with the market of Christmas and the ice rink. City tours are organized throughout the year as well as many other events and cultural programming of quality.
For a day, a weekend or a stay, the city offers a variety of accommodation. At the foot of the castle is the reception area for motor homes.
Markets: Thursday all day, Saturday morning and Sunday morning.