Château du Rivau, an authentic medieval castle with Renaissance architecture
Château du Rivau stands out among Loire Valley châteaux, being one of the few to combine rough and authentic medieval castle architecture with the refined ornamentation of a castle owned by powerful medieval lords who were close to the King of France.
Château du Rivau is based upon a square design with round towers at each angle and dry moats dug into freestone. This design, typical of 14th century medieval castle architecture , was considerably redesigned through the 15th and 16th centuries, thus adding many features of medieval castle architecture to the buildings.
A unique blend of renaissance and medieval castle architecture...
Two round towers protect the entrance of the castle and feature a stone slope at the base of each tower, to help reinforce the structure and protect them against armed attacks which could have breached the castle. Higher up the towers are numerous narrow slits through which archers could shoot, positioned to enable shots from all angles. By the end of the 13th century, medieval castle architecture favoured round towers over square ones, the former being more resilient and offering greater defensive characteristics.
Crossing the drawbridge leads to a closed paved courtyard, the former living quarters, originally comprising four distinct parts. The fourth of these was destroyed during the 16th century and is now a planted checkerboard. During the 19th century, a chapel which stood on the far south side of the building was also destroyed.
Castle Tower Stairway