Our Classic Cruise – Upper Loire and Western Burgundy aboard the Renaissance introduces you to some of the significant historic châteaux of the region. One of the most impressive is the beautiful Château de la Bussière, set on a 17th century, 35,000 hectare estate.
History & Beauty at the Château de la Bussière
The ‘Fisherman’s Castle’
So called due to its huge array of fishing-related works of art and artefacts, the collection has been open to the public since 1962. The prize exhibit is the striking “coelacanth”, the preserved remains of a prehistoric bottom-dwelling fish. Originally built as a defensive fortress in the twelfth century, the château was transformed into a private home some 500 years later and today is still owned by the descendants of the noble Chasseval family.
Beautiful - Inside and Out
The interiors of the castle are immaculately restored and you can stroll through the rooms and see them just as they were used for many centuries. Some of the rooms open to visitors are the kitchens, the linen room, the sitting room, the office and the impressive vaulted library – all with the authentic furnishings and accoutrements of daily life in place.
The castle is surrounded by water, with a narrow stone bridge its only accessible point, but the surrounding impeccably maintained gardens will surely be one of the true highlights of your visit. You can stroll around the “commons” and explore the plantings of the orangery, walk through the stables, take in the abundant vegetable gardens and meander around the tranquil lake. There’s even a giant maze and old wooden games for those who want to pit their mental skills against the past.
Another Unmissable Château
Our Classic Cruise of the Upper Loire and Western Burgundy also gives you the opportunity to visit several other castles, including the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Château de Fontainebleau, on day two. Today a working museum (actually four of them), the castle was home to eight centuries of French royalty and sits within jaw-dropping gardens and the second largest national forest in the country. Packed to the brim with art and furniture, and with history seeping from its elegant walls, Fontainebleau is an extraordinary surprise not to be missed.