The French Chateaux
French Castles come in a wide variety, from medieval castles to rococo, baroque or renaissance palaces. A castle or castle complex is called a chateau in French. The word chateau is also used for a mansion and a vineyard estate, so not all chateaux are palaces.
I have of course added the most famous one, the Palace of Versailles, where large crowds of tourists are standing in line for a visit every day. You can go there yourself or book a guided tour from Paris and skip the line!
I have also added some charming smaller or lesser-known palaces, like the palace of Saint Fargeau and Chateau de Fontainebleau. Here you can pretty much wander around without encountering another visitor. The review on this site is by no means complete. I am planning to visit many more palaces and add them on this list!
If you are staying in Paris you can take a Loire Valley Castle Tour which wil take you to the famous Palaces Chambord, Amboise and Chenonceau in the Loire Valley, "Garden of France”.
Famous French Castle residents
Here are some stories about the French kings, their queens and their mistresses.
In France, the favourite mistress of the king had an official title, Maîtresse-en-titre. As long as they could hold the affection of the king, they were assured of adequate income, titles, beautiful clothes and a nice apartment, close to the king's chambers. Most people cannot Name a Queens of France, but the names of the Mistresses do ring a bell. Who did not hear of Madame de Pompadour of Madame du Barry?