Symbol of Saumur and jewel in its crown, the famous Château, immortalised in Les Très Riches Heures du Duc de Berry, is an invitation to further explore the town’s rich heritage. A prosperous merchant town since the Middle Ages, in the 17th century, Saumur became a place of safety for Protestants, and whith its Academy achieved international renown. In reaction, the Catholic Church strengthened its presence there and founded a number oh institutions, the most beautiful example of which is the exceptional church of Les Ardilliers. In the 18th century, the town authorities gave the old town its modern urban layout: to the long through road, in line with the bridges, was added the establishment, in a new quartet, of the prestigious Cavalry School. In the 19th century, the Cadre Noir made Saumur the centre of the equestrian arts in France. Imposing public buildings (town hall, theatre, etc.) completed the town’s developments and new wine producers became established nearby. The town and its associated parishes of Saint-Hilaire-Saint-Florent, Bagneux, Dampierre-sur-Loire and Saint-Laint-Lambert-des-Levées are filled with history and with beautiful houses of interest to any visitor.