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Sensational Château Bouthéon near Saint Etienne, Rhône-Alpes.

A short drive from the Roannais enroute to Saint Etienne in the region of the Rhône-Alpes there is a stunning château.

Of course, France is full of beautiful château’s of different architectural styles and merits, both large and small. Château Bouthéon is a particularly fine example of well-preserved history, beautifully landscaped gardens, and collection of farm animals.

All open to the public, and great for families to visit and learn a little more about country life, flora and fauna.

Close to Saint Etienne situated between the Rhône Valley and the Central Massif, overlooking the plains of the Loire Valley, the Château de Bouthéon has been given a new lease of life which is very much in line with the region’s current concern to protect and enhance local heritage.

This magnificent residence once home to the Bourbons in the 15th century then the Gadagne family in the 16th century, was extended in the 19th century, and has undergone extensive restoration and refurbishment since ownership was taken over by the town of Adrézieux-Boutheon in 1995.

This exceptional site, emblem of the towns’ past, and indeed, that of the whole Forez region, is steadily staking a claim as one of the prominent tourist attractions of the area, and a signficant factor for its current  fame.

A subtle blend of history, architecture, countryside, the Château offers the visitor a breathtaking vista over the hills of the Forez which, alongside its 24 acres of animal park and botanic gardens, set the landscape off to perfection.

Add to this, special interactive events organised by the Forez Exhibition Centre and soon you find yourself on an unforgettable journey of discovery.

Although also an ideal place for business conferences, meetings and exhibitions, Château Bouthéon  offers more than just a place for relaxation and leisure. The Château has undertaken to protect natural heritage by breeding threatened animal species and growing rare botanical specimens.

A place of wonder and discovery, the park invites you to enter into an animal and vegetable kingdom which is totally in communion with nature. Along its paths you will be delighted to encounter, and at surprisingly close quarters, forgotten species such as aurochs, rare breeds of goats and pigeons, draft horses…which will become as familiar to the contemporary visitor as they were to our forbears.

Laid out in themes, the botanic trail will lead you through the traditional French garden, the fegetable plot, the rose garden, the bamboo collection, an orchard and plots of aromatic plants.

The parkland of the Château de Bouthéon is the living demonstration that concern for the environment produces a harmonious universe of nature and culture.

When you visit the Roannais, here in the magnificent Rhône-Alpes region, a short trip to this fascinating château is obligatory.