Saumur is a beautiful city that sits on both banks of the Loire River.
The town is well known for its fine wines, mushrooms and horses. Over five tons of mushrooms are sent from the region each day. The Chateau built of Tuffa stone, dominates the city from its perch high above the town.
The chateau stands next to "The Butte des Moulins" and this hill was once covered with windmills used to process the grain from the rich farmland, for which the area is renowned. There had been an earlier fortress built on the same site.
During the wars of religion the chateau became a Protestant fortress.
Like many large buildings it became a prison and a barracks, before being restored to its former glory.
The chateau was featured in "Les Trés Riches Heures du Duc de Berry" .
These thirty nine miniature paintings were commissioned by Le Duc de Berry who had a chateau in Bourges and were painted by the three Limbourg brothers.
They show different scenes of life in the Loire during the 15th century.
The town has an old quarter with many fine buildings from its time when the rich merchants built themselves beautiful houses.
The theater which was only built in the 1800's was modeled on the Odéon in Paris.
Around the "Place St Piere", the oldest half timbered houses still stand, which were built during 15th century.
The church from which the square takes its name, was first built during the twelfth century and remodeled during the 15th and 16th century.

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