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Tourism, holidays & weekends guide in the Indre-et-Loire

Richelieu - Tourism, holidays & weekends guide in the Indre-et-Loire

In Indre-et-Loire, there is a town as historic as the man who inspired it: Richelieu. King Louis XIII had it built in the 17th century for his illustrious minister. Surrounded by ramparts and moats, go through one of three monumental gates to reach La Grande Rue. Twelve metres wide and lined with numerous mansions, it was intended to be like the Cardinal de Richelieu: imposing. There are two symmetrical squares at each end. Continue your tour with a visit to the Art and History Museum, which has an exhibition of the Cardinal's memorabilia, furniture and tapestries. Likewise, at the Espace Richelieu you can learn more about this powerful man through an interactive exhibition. End your visit in the pleasant wooded park, where the scents of the rose garden are sure to catch your attention.

In July every other year, actors in period costume bring the Cardinal's era back to life at the Cape and Sword festival (Cape et Épée).

And why not leave your car behind and travel to Chinon along the greenway? That way you can discover the surrounding landscapes while enjoying a pleasant walk or bike ride.

Additional information

Common Indre-et-Loire located on the borders of Touraine, Anjou and Poitou, Richelieu takes place on the edge of the Vienne, in the Regional Natural Park Loire-Anjou-Touraine. It is not far from Sainte-Maure-de-Touraine and Chaveignes.

New Town, Richelieu is founded in the first half of the seventeenth century by the eponymous cardinal. Ideal city, it is entirely conceived by Jacques Lemercier, famous architect of the time, and rests on a checkerboard plan like the Roman cities or the old medieval bastides. If the town ceases to develop at the death of the cardinal, however, it continues to receive illustrious guests such as Voltaire, La Fontaine or Louis XIV.

Richelieu continues to attract visitors today thanks to its history and its rich architectural heritage, a true witness of the seventeenth century style.

Things to see and do

From the castle of Richelieu, now extinct, there remains only the central pavilion of the stables, the large entrance hemicycle, the access bridge to the main courtyard, the pavilion of the orangery or the pavilion cellar and cellars. The ensemble is classified as an historic monument, and the park remains open to the public. Several of the cardinal's works of art are now on display in various parts of the country, such as the Richelieu museum, the Vendôme museum and the Orléans Museum of Fine Arts.

Several mansions can still be admired in the Grande Rue, twenty-seven of them are listed in the supplementary inventory of Historic Monuments.

Built by Pierre Lemercier, brother of the architect of the castle, Notre-Dame church reveals a beautiful classic style. Completed in the late 1620s, it houses among other things a organ of the mid-nineteenth century listed Historical Monument.

While strolling in the alleys of the old city, you will also be able to discover the halls which go back to the origins of the city. Modified in the 19th century, they were completely renovated in the early 2010s by the municipality.

To learn more about the history of the city, head to the Museum of the Town Hall and its beautiful collection.

Places of interest

Information points
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Events and festivities


The hall of Richelieu
The hall of Richelieu
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A park alley
A park alley
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Our Lady
Our Lady
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Visits, leisure and activities nearby


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