When visiting Nantes, take a trip to the Loire Valley to visit the Château de Goulaine, one of the city most treasured landmarks with a history that goes back centuries, and discover its stunning architecture.
The Chateau de Goulain used to be a castle in its times of glory. Nowadays, it is a protected site by Natura 2000, for its historical significance. Since 1913, it has been considered a historic monument that represents part of the heritage of the city of Nantes.
The story begins with the Goulaine family who lived there for many years until 1788 when it was bought by a Dutch banker called Piter Deurbroucq, who took well care of the property during the French revolution. In 1858 it was bought again by the Goulaine family.
The castle is made of tufa stone, a type of limestone commonly used in this kind of structure. It is an excellent example of a 15th-century castle with a conservative renaissance style. And, it was the first castle ever built in this valley.
A biscuit museum
In the castle, visitors can also explore the museum of the famous LU biscuit. The biscuit was created by two French bakers who fell in love while baking. They created the exquisite recipe around the year 1850, which resulted in the LU biscuits we eat today. The biscuits were named after their initials. The Lefèvre-Utile is a traditional family originally from Nantes, so the story is a proud piece of the community.
The museum is housed where the stables used to be in the 17th century. It features an extensive collection of over 600 items, including original factory fittings, advertising posters, and some brand memorabilia.
Butterflies and wine
Located also on the premises, there is an aviary. Visitors can explore the aviary with many beautiful tropical butterflies that are flying around the plants. This initiative was created in 1984 by Marquis Robert de Goulaine.
Also, don't miss out on the winery. Chateau de Goualine is known for being one of the first family business that started producing wine in Europe. Now, they produce exquisite vintages of Chardonnay, Sancerre, and Vouvray which are sold in the gift shop.
Good to know
The ticket to the castle includes a guided tour around the rooms with its noble furniture, where visitors can learn about the history of the building and about the de Goulaine family who lived there since the Middle Ages.
Note that information on the different rooms is available in Spanish, German, English, and Italian.