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Strolls on the banks of the Eure in Chartres and the Loir in Châteaudun and Vendôme


Chartres en Lumières C. MoutonIt is the first thing you see, this masterpiece listed as World Heritage by UNESCO: Notre-Dame de Chartres Cathedral. This 12th and 13th century architectural gem has two steeples looking over the Beauce countryside.

Close to this monument with its famous stained glass windows, the International Stained Glass Centre perpetuates the art with training courses and exhibitions.

Wander down the picturesque ancient streets to join the banks of the Eure where you can still find ancient bridges, wash-houses and watermills.

In spring, Chartres lights up and offers its architecture in all its glory along an entertaining, poetic trail. Fourteen of its monuments are animated by light and music.
Château de Châteaudun P. AucanteIn Châteaudun, things are not quite what they seem:

overlooking the Loir Valley, the castle with its forbidding fortress-like appearance and an imposing dungeon actually hides a comfortable home in which gothic and renaissance styles set each other off harmoniously.

An original set on the theme of "Cooking, a lifestyle art in the Middle Ages" will initiate you into the festive and culinary practice of 15th-century princes.

In July, the traditional Wool Fair takes the old quarters back to the medieval era.
Vendôme L. Savignac
A Town of Art and History, Vendôme is all about water and gardens.

This pretty flower-laden town, where Honoré de Balzac did some of his schooling, lives to the rhythm of the Loir and the many canals that cross it.

In summer, climb aboard a boat for a trip which gives you an exceptional view of Trinité Abbey, a masterpiece of the flamboyant gothic style.

On foot you can walk over the bridges and gangways that straddle the river and go off to discover the exceptional heritage and the many events on offer.