- Debbie Willes
Chateau d'Ussé - the Sleeping Beauty castle
The chateau d'Ussé in the small village of Rigny Ussé is said to have been the inspiration for Charles Perrault's fairy tale - La Belle au Bois Dormant - the Sleeping Beauty. With its many turrets and the forest behind, it's easy to see why.
There has been a chateau on the site since 1000AD, when it was a defensive property. Over the centuries it has been transformed and extended, and it was in the 17th century that it began to take it's current form as a place of residence and it is now owned by the Duke of Blacas and his family.
A visit includes traditionally furnished state rooms, an exhibition of Belle Epoque costumes, stables, the dungeon and of course, scenes from the Sleeping Beauty tale.
In the village there is a café overlooking the chateau and a pleasant riverside walk.