At the beginning of the 2000s, the Departmental Council of Indre-et-Loire, which owns the Royal Fortress of Chinon, decided to launch a major project to modernise the monument. New parts of the Fortress were opened to visitors and a contemporary building was built to house the entrance area, a gift shop and a space for temporary exhibitions. Restoration work began on the ramparts and the towers. The royal lodgings, having been in ruins for 200 years, were fitted with a new framework and a roof.
Following the extensive restoration work, the Royal Fortress of Chinon created a new visitor experience with different interactive tools.
The newly restored royal lodgings have been equipped with interesting displays and museum design:
- Films are projected in creative ways in four rooms, immersing the visitor in the experience. Each of the four films illustrate a key period in the history of the Fortress, with a story told from the perspective of a well-known figure (Fulk IV, Henry II, Philip Augustus, Joan of Arc and Charles VII).
- Two rooms are dedicated to Joan of Arc, where you can admire a collection of original art from the 18th to the 20th century (bronze, statues, earthenware etc.). The rich iconographic collection demonstrates the different portrayals of the heroine through the centuries.
- Two other rooms are devoted to the history of the Fortress where you’ll find multimedia terminals, scale models and archaeological collections found during recent excavations.
- 3D reconstructions and audio terminals can be found in the park and in the towers, offering an original way to discover the Fortress.
New: the top floor of the “Tour de l’Horloge” (the Clock tower) houses the old mechanism which enabled the 14th century bell to ring! The bell ringing process is explained with the use of a zoetrope. This is an original device that creates optical illusions - try it for yourself.
To accompany you on your visit, a guide booklet is available in the entrance building of the Fortress.