My second favorite chateau of the Loire Valley (after Chenonceau) was Usse. Overlooking the Indre Valley, it was built in the 1400s on top of a ruined fortress from the 1100s. (I am discovering that many chateau, castles, palaces, and even cathedrals are built on ruins of older ones). It is surrounded by a small, but lovely garden area, wine cellar caves, stables, and a wonderful little cathedral. Inside the wine caves and the chateau are mannequins, dressed for the era. One of the towers is designated “the Sleeping Beauty tower.” Chateau d Usse claims to be the castle that the Sleeping Beauty castle was inspired by. This tower has various scenes from Sleeping Beauty set up in its rooms, complete with costumed characters, special effects lighting, and notes that tell the story of each room. This chateau has a little bit (but not too much) of everything. This chateau also has a recently renovated dungeon.
The attic was pretty amazing-so many relics are piled around the walkway, not cared for at all. They are dusty and disintegrating. I felt like I needed to rescue many of the pieces from the dusky attic! Click on the photo below to enlarge it so you can read the sign that was posted near the chateau. As lovely and restored as this castle is, this attic could definitely use another round of renovation-or just a good cleaning!
Below is the chapel next to Chateau de Usse, which boasts a unique 15th century ceramic scene of Mary.
Of course, the stables were very practical, containing a few styles of carriages.
And finally, the wine caves.
We did go ahead and purchase wine near the Usse chateau, but it was not from one of these barrels. For more information on this chateau, I recommend going HERE. I hope you have the opportunity to visit the Loire Valley chateau, and especially Usse. I would love to hear your thoughts!