The castle at Chinon stands over the banks of the Vienne river a kilometre from its confluence with the mighty river Loire. In mediaeval times this was a strategic as well as a commercial location, as it commanded the main method of movement of the day, river transportation. In the 1200s The Plantagenet Kings used Chinon as their main Royal castle and from there governed a huge 'empire' that ran from Scotland to the Basque country. While being a vassal of the King of France (then more or less only the Ile de France), the french-speaking Plantagenet Lord a was full King of England, and so a peer of the French King in Paris. Tricky balance!
The old castle at Chinon is formed of three defensive castles-within-castles and is on a par with the defensive works of the Crusaders or those build by England's Edward 1 in Wales. The crusades caused defensive architecture to advance a great deal, and this skill was brought back to France from Jerusalem.
The ruin that we find today is the recipient of the largest restoration project work in Europe. This involves the partial reconstruction of the royal apartments to the earliest state of which there is a sufficiently comprehensive record. We now see the apartments as they were in about 1760. Sadly the hall where the King of France received the Maid of Orleans, Joan of Arc, remains in ruin as there is no documentation extant to act as guide to reconstruction.
The three photos look up from the mediaeval main-street of the town of Chinon to see the restored apartments outlined against the sky. The town itself was placed next to the river for both access and defensive reasons, and protected in the rear by the towering castle rock.