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View of Montsoreau, from the Loire river

Montsoreau is a historic town in the Loire Valley in western France. It is part of the department of Maine-et-Loire, Pays de la Loire region, and situated 250 kilometers from Paris. Montsoreau is famous for its Château.

The town is part of the French association of The Most Beautiful Villages of France.

In 2000, the Loire Valley between Sully-sur-Loire and Chalonnes, in particular Montsoreau and the Château de Montsoreau, was inscribed on the list of World Heritage sites by UNESCO.

Etymology[edit | edit source]

The name of Montsoreau comes from the rock on which is currently built the castle of Montsoreau, Mont Soreau (in Latin Mons Sorello, monte Sorello or Monte Sorelli). No explanation was given on the interpretation of the name Sorello.[1][2]

Variations of the name[edit | edit source]

  • Montsoreau
  • Monsoreau

History[edit | edit source]

Montsoreau is a very old place, which still holds Neolithic and Gallo-Roman remains. The first texts mention a fishing village in the year 600 under the name Restis (Filet). According to archaeological excavations, it seems that at that time a temple or an administrative building occupied the rock of Montsoreau.[3] It is the Count of Blois, who first (996) build a fortress on Mount Soreau. This fortress was very quickly conquered by the Count of Anjou, who subsequently modified it and made it impregnable.[4] It was taken only once in its history, by the King of England Henry II, in 1152. In 1450, John II de Chambes (the first adviser to King Charles VII) bought the fortress from his brother-in-law, destroyed it and built the castle still in place.[5]

Geography[edit | edit source]

The Montsoreau site[edit | edit source]

The site where the city is built is in the immediate vicinity of the confluence of the Vienne and the Loire rivers. The city is crossed by the Loire and has an island on its right bank, the island of Than.

Demography[edit | edit source]

Montsoreau is a small town of 447 inhabitants and it is part of the agglomeration of Saumur-Val de Loire which has a little more than 100,000 inhabitants.

Culture[edit | edit source]

Montsoreau is a cultural and tourist city that welcomes many visitors every year. It is known for its Château, which since 2016 has hosted a museum of contemporary art, the Château de Montsoreau - Museum of Contemporary Art. The Château de Montsoreau is one of the main chateaux of the Loire and was made famous by Alexandre Dumas in his novel The Lady of Monsoreau.[6][7][8][9][10]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Abbey Athelney (1899) (in en). Two Cartularies of the Benedictine Abbeys of Muchelney and Athelney in the County of Somerset. subscribers only.
  2. Boussard J. (1938). Le comté d'Anjou sous Henri Plantagenêt et ses fils. Paris. pp. 11.
  3. Prigent D. (2003). Congrès archéologique de France. Paris: Société française d'archéologie. pp. 255.
  4. "CHATEAU DE MONTSOREAU: Castles France, Pays de la Loire". Retrieved 30 March 2019.
  5. Loire, Mission Val de. "Charles VII et Louis XI Val de Loire patrimoine mondial" (in fr-FR). Retrieved 30 March 2019.
  6. Bechtler cristina (2018). The Private Museum of the Future. Zurich: JRP Ringier. pp. 100. ISBN 978-3-03764-520-8.
  7. "Montsoreau 2018 (avec photos): Top 20 des logements à Montsoreau, locations de vacances et locations saisonnières – Airbnb Montsoreau, Pays de la Loire, France" (in fr-FR). Airbnb. Retrieved 30 March 2019.
  8. Airbnb citizens (2016). "La communauté Airbnb en Pays de la Loire". Airbnb Citizens.
  9. "Brocantes : attention aux contrefaçons" (in fr-FR). Franceinfo. 6 August 2017. Retrieved 30 March 2019.
  10. "Pays de la Loire : les feux d'artifice du 14 juillet" (in fr). France 3 Pays de la Loire. Retrieved 30 March 2019.

Other websites[edit | edit source]

Source : this page has been adapted from the page « Montsoreau » on Vikidia in French. (Authors list)
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