It’s no secret that there are a ton of castles – or chateaus – throughout France. Some are definitely in better states than others and many are now having a second life as hotels or event spaces.
So, how many castles are there in France? Let’s dive in and find out more.
How Many Castles Are in France?
In total, there are thought to be around 45,000 castles in France. To put that in perspective, there are only 36,000 communities in total for the whole of the country, so every community (not even every town!) gets at least one castle each. That’s mad!
In fact, the Dordogne area, or the Périgord, used to be known as the Land of a Thousand Castles back in the Middle Ages, although the title undersold the area a little bit. In actuality, there are over 1,500 castles in this area alone.
Given the long and bloody history that France has, there are castles from the 9th century all the way through to the modern day, where castles have been built to imitate a certain style or restore ruined castles to their former glory. So, as you travel around France, you can see castles in all kinds of architectural styles from throughout history.
As there are so many castles in France, a lot of them have been abandoned over the years due to revolution, upkeep costs, and more. So, many foreign owners are buying up these crumbling chateaus and fixing them up for either business purposes or to create a grand family home with a ton of land. Sounds pretty good to me!
Currently, the most significant population of intact or restored castles and chateaus appears to be in the Languedoc-Roussillon Region near Montpellier. This might come as a surprise to many, but given the strategic nature of having castles and fortresses along France’s Mediterranean coastline, this seems like a no-brainer, historically speaking.
However, no matter where you go in France, you’re sure to find a whole host of castles and chateaus to transport you back in time and fill your trip with culture and interesting architecture. Just try not to fall in love and buy one for yourself – we hear they can be pretty expensive undertakings!
Are There Any Castles in Paris?
Yes, technically 27 castles in the Ile-de-France area encompass Paris. However, they are all in varying states of disrepair. For instance, did you know that the Louvre is technically a castle?
It used to be a fortress in the heart of the city, but as it’s changed so much over the years, hardly any of its original purpose remains. Despite this, there are fragments of the original fortress left behind, so technically, according to records, it still counts as a castle.
Many of the intact castles and chateaus are further out from Paris’s bustling city center and include Château de La Madeleine (Chevreuse), Château de Nemours, and Château de Dourdan.