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Chateau d’Usse (Sleeping Beauty's Castle)

Listed under Literary Locations in Loire Valley, France.

Photo of Chateau d’Usse (Sleeping Beauty's Castle)
Photo by flickr user Joe Shlabotnik
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For aspiring princesses everywhere this is the place you’re expecting your handsome prince to carry you over the threshold of to live in love and luxury until the end of your days after the tortuous dramas your love initially faced. Conveniently located in one of France’s prettiest regions, the Loire Valley, beside a dark, slightly intimidating wood, which adds to the fairy tale effect, Chateau d’Usse inspired Charles Perrault’s romantic 17th Century classic “Sleeping Beauty” (this is what all you boys have to live up to…). You get a feel for the delicate grace of the place just approaching it along the pretty drive, from its pale blue roofed towers and rounded pointy turrets and large windows. Parrault was a guest here during a period when the castle was shaking off its old heavy fortifications and expanding the focus of its vistas giving it a more wealthy, fairytale appearance. This has never been a castle of war, it’s more like a royal holiday home away from the bloody mess which Paris and the rest of France suffered periodically. Inside the salons are opulent and stylish to the best standards the French can manage. Not everything is originally from this castle though, some of the dresses and dressings are of the right era but have been obviously bought second hand. The chateau is private property and only a few well restored sections are open to the public, the rest is still their house! There is a sleeping beauty exhibit in the tower (it’s more of a little girl’s fantasy, but much less twee and sparkly than at Disneyland I hear.).

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Written by  Sophie Edgerton.

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