We have partnered with a Parisian company to offer you unequalled knowledge of Paris,if you are staying in Paris before or after your stay in the Chateau we suggest that you contact Lucie to get the most out of your stay in Paris.
There is no more romantic destination in the world than France. France’s rich history coupled with its modern-day beauty provide the perfect backdrop for any romantic event or getaway. Chateau Challain provides all of its guests with the essence of what makes France so unique: stunning vistas, world-class cuisine, romantic charm, and memories that will last a lifetime. We promise that you won’t find any location better suited to help you begin your fairytale.
Chateau Challain has always had a special place in its heart for its guests. We have dedicated ourselves to continuing the Chateau’s long history of hospitality to visitors from around the world. Visitors of Chateau Challain may arrive as strangers, but they always leave as friends. Our friendly staff and commitment to service have cultivated a warm, inviting environment in which our guests can feel free to engage in all that the Chateau has to offer. We always look forward to meeting and greeting our new guests and forming lasting relationships that bring our visitors back again and again.
Our guests’ happiness is our number one priority. As a professional wedding venue, we do what we can to ensure that our guests’ needs are met and that their experience at the Chateau is above and beyond their expectations. We live to serve—down to the smallest details. We promise that you will not only leave the Chateau with fond memories of your wedding, but fond memories of your stay at the Chateau as well.
Call Chateau Challain today to reserve the world’s most romantic wedding venue for your future fairytale nuptials.
Anjou owes almost everything to France’s famous Loire river. Running for nearly 80 miles, the Loire highlights some of France’s most beautiful landscapes. In the east to Champtoceaux, it has provided the region with precious materials, irrigated the fields, and inspired monumental buildings. It also brings in alluvial sand, perfect for growing flowers and market gardening.
Responsible for inspiring writers and artists, environmental prosperity, and the occasional flood, the river is rightfully known as the last untamed river of Europe. The Loire has officially been proclaimed a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Whatever her mood, one thing is sure, the river is at her very best here in Anjou.
Angers, because of its prosperity, is known as Juliomagnus – Julius Caesar's market. It was from here that the Plantagenets took control of the English crown under first Henry II and then Richard I (Lionheart). A century later, the province was returned to the French crown and Louis IX (Saint Louis) and his mother, Blanche of Castile, erected the castle. A huge fortified defense covering half a square mile, its vast wings are protectively folded over a masterpiece—the Apocalypse Tapestry.
Angers castle: “a place for wine, a place for mass." Here, grape juice and divine services were closely linked. The Coteaux du Layon vineyards that stretch to the top of the hillside were planted by monks and the sweet and beautifully golden wine produced was drunk by the crowned heads of Europe. It still graces the tables of discerning drinkers.
Undoubtedly the most reserved of the Loire valley royal provinces, Anjou attracted dukes, princes, builders, and patrons who all came together to produce a profusion of châteaux manor houses and minor stately homes. Anjou chateaus combine the virtues of fortified buildings with the need for a comfortable home, somewhere to relax and enjoy oneself. Anjou prides itself on: wine, flowers and horses. Some of the stately homes are still occupied, even by the same family and the most splendid are open to the public so you too can experience a hospitality that is rarely found elsewhere.
Imagine it is 300 AD. As the Roman occupation retreats, the landscape of Anjou takes on a religious dimension as Christianity spreads. With the conversion of the first archbishop of Tours, Saint Martin, comes a swift reaction in the countryside and people's minds. There are pioneering monks, to whom much is owed and Robert d'Arbrissel is one of them. A hermit devoted to prayers and poverty, he founds what was to become one of the wealthiest and most impressive monastic settlements of the Christian west: the Abbey of Fontevraud. With its 45 hectares and three priories, the community has been run for 700 years by nuns under the protection of the king. Here is the chosen resting place of Henry II, King of England, his wife Eleanor of Aquitaine, his son Richard I and the wife of his other son, King John, Isabella of Angoulême.
Life, not death, now triumphs at Fontevraud. Concerts are organized by the Cultural Centre for the West and listeners can hear classical music and Gregorian chants. Romanesque Anjou has 400 bell towers, some of which are included in the "open church" scheme. This is an initiative that arranges special visits with lighting, sacred music and information. In the areas of Baugeois and Saumur, churches are generally Romanesque in design—the best example being at Cunault, a wonder of solemnity and purity.
The saints’ pilgrimages punctured daily life and provided the religious landscape of Anjou. In Cheviré-le-Rouge, Le Thoureil, Cuon and Montjean, water was said to cure eye problems, fever and madness. The amazing church of Béhuard Island has been one of the most popular venues for worshipping the Virgin Mary, while the nearby church of Savennières is one of the oldest in France. Discovering churches will soon bring you to Baugé and its wooden cross, decorated with gold and precious stones. The story relates that, in the thirteenth century, a crusade returning from the Holy Land gave a fragment of the original cross of Jesus to the monks of Baugé. The double headed cross became first the symbol of the Dukes of Anjou before becoming the present symbol of Lorraine. The actual artifact has since been returned and can be admired in Baugé. One of the strangest sites in Anjou, in the area around Baugé, is home to pine and broad- leaved forests as well as eight churches with twisted steeples. Nowhere else in France is there such a display of this design—for which there seems to be no explanation. Were they an architect's whim, the effect of the wind, or even the hand of the devil?
Cholet's claim to fame is its weavers. At the end of the 17th century, the town had around ten thread makers who made single colored cloth and cottons. Cholet soon became known for its red handkerchiefs. Today, the whole area is renowned for its textiles and exports French fashion collections to the rest of the world. You can explore historic Cholet best by starting at the Rougé Square in the old town. Don't forget to visit the textile museum housed in a former laundry.
In past times, the town was the center of bloody battles in the wars of the Vendée; today, the town is the starting point for a tour of remembrance taking in the commemorative windows of the Vendée uprising. 102 stained glass windows have been installed in many churches in the Mauges near Cholet. Visit Chemillé, Chanzeaux, Le Pin-en-Mauges and La Chapelle-Saint-Florent to see some examples in all their glory.
In the 19th century, the Count and the Countess of La Rochefoucauld-Bayers constructed on their La Potherie Estate, a new grand castle in the neogothic style. They chose a very famous architect from Paris, Louis Visconti, famous for designing the Louvre extension. They asked him to design the new Chateau to replace the one built in the 16th century and asked Rene Hode, a famous architect from Angers, to build the castle. The construction began in 1848 and was finished in 1854. The design was a classic arrangement of a rectangle base with four towers, 60 meters long and 47 meters high with 120 rooms on 5 levels and an abundance of limestone sculptures made by Jacques Granneau, student of David D'Angers.
At the death of her husband, Ida de la Potherie, Countess of la Rochefoucauld-Bayers finished the construction of the Castle and continued to finish her and her husband’s dream. All this architectural construction in the village made this place one of the great private French residents in the 19th century. Because of the ambiance of the total property the Castle Chateau de La Potherie was named the "neogothic jewel in Anjou" or "The Petite Chambord.” Situated on beautiful grounds, the Chateau complex makes up one corner of a small village, which also has shops, a cathedral, and many summer events.
The Chateau is now open for both overnight guests and day visitors, and also hosts wedding receptions and other events, your chateau holidays in France. The Chateau de Challain is located in the Loire Valley, the region of Castles, and only one and a half hours from Paris by TGV (High Speed Train). The Castle is also easy to reach from England and Ireland by flying direct into Nantes airport.
Chateau Challain is the ultimate destination for your destination Castle Wedding or Romantic Bed & Breakfast holiday in France. The castle features a number of special features, including a neogothic interior design motif, wood sculptures, Gothic paneling and furniture to accent the rooms along with large fireplaces, and French painting on the ceilings. Starting with the stables in 1859, then the modern farm and the vegetables garden in 1870, there have been many special additions made to the Chateau’s exterior, making it an idyllic setting for any romantic getaway or French holiday.
You enter the Park gates and drive through spectacular landscaped gardens to arrive eventually in front of a truly romantic, French Chateau. Perhaps over 120 guests have been invited or you are having a small intimate affair,the chateau can cater for your every fancy on your special day. Marquees can be supplied if you require additional space and extended flexability on your castle wedding day. Our outstanding facilities and bespoke service provide the ultimatel venue for your wedding, and our experienced and friendly staff will ensure that everything runs smoothly. We will help or totally manage your plans, suggest exciting and innovative touches that will enhance your wedding day. We pride ourselves on the highest standards of comfort, impeccable service and personal attention to detail ensuring you and your guests will enjoy a warm and relaxed atmosphere in the truly exceptional family home of the Chateau de Challain. See our Testimonials.
Bed and Breakfast in a French Chateau (chambres d'hôtes). We offer guests two options to stay at the chateau, you can book a suite in the marvellous chateau with breakfast (Gourmet evening meal is possible with notice) or you cant rent the Gate House as a Gite (self contained holiday let). The local area is quite stunning with many local attractions including some of the truly great vineyards nearby.