Sleeping Beauty’s castle
It is said that the Château d’Ussé inspired Charles Perrault for his
“Sleeping Beauty”. One thing is sure: the impressive building, where the
white tuffeau stone contrasts with the slate roofs on its numerous towers,
invites visitors to enter an incredible fairytale setting.
A Renaissance château on the outskirts of the Chinon forest
Between Chinon and Azay-le-Rideau, the Château d’Ussé looks down on the River
Indre and the Loire. The gardens designed by Le Nôtre and the terraces reinforced
by Vauban proudly surround a building where Voltaire and Chateaubriand once
This rich private residence with its magical atmosphere was owned from the 15 th
century by an important Touraine family, the Bueils. Since the late 19 th century, it has
belonged to the Blacas family, who still live here.
Built alongside the forest of Chinon, the château features a range of architectural
styles. Each period, from the 15 th to the 19 th century, makes its mark and provides a
transition between the medieval castle and the private residence. Today, it
epitomises the Renaissance-style château.
Visiting the Château d’Ussé
The visit gives access to the different rooms in the château, as well as the castle
keep and the rampart walk. The visit is rounded off by the chapel, the stables and
the underground cellars dug out of the Touraine tuffeau stone.
The interior of the Château d’Ussé is richly decorated. The guard room has a
beautiful ceiling with a 17 th century trompe-l’œil decoration and contains a collection of
Oriental weapons. The great galley linking the château’s east and west wings has
huge and exquisite Flemish tapestries dating from the 16 th century. The monumental
staircase designed by Mansart leads to the king’s bed chamber with walls covered
in silk and a magnificent four-poster bed.
The beautiful structure of the octagonal tower in the castle keep can be seen as you
go up the stairs. From the castle keep (known as the “knights’ keep”) the rampart
walk begins with scenes from “Sleeping Beauty”. Elegantly costumed wax models
portray the wicked fairy godmother, the three fairies, Prince Charming and Princess