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The Royal Fortress, once known as Château de Chinon, is the nearest Loire Valley château to Détilly. After researching the history of Château de Détilly, we discovered that, due to its proximity to Château de Chinon, it was included as part of its administration. During the Middle Ages, Château de Détilly (Destilly) was referred to as a 'châtellenie'. Château de Chinon is famous for many reasons. Firstly, it was a royal residence of King Henry II of England and Eleanor d'Aquitaine, and of course, Richard the Lionheart. Jacques Molay, the last grand master of the Knights Templars was imprisoned there in the Tour Coudray, along with other knights, and tortured before being taken to Paris where he was burned at the stake on a small island facing the formidable Notre-Dame Cathedral. Another famous person to ride through the streets of Chinon to the château was Joan of Arc in 1429.

You can visit the fortress which has been extensively renovated. We recommend climbing the stairs to the top of the bell tower where you'll have a spectacular view of Chinon and beyond. Joan of Arc actually stayed in the Tour Coudray as a guest when she dropped in on King Charles II. After your visit, you can have lunch in Chinon on one of the terraces in the medieval town then wander through the narrow streets that have barely changed in hundreds of years. This is one of the activities we include in our writers' retreats and it has been inspirational to many of our writers. Chinon is the perfect setting for romance novels, crime, horror, and of course, historical fiction.

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