BEAUTY and the Beast fans can live out their Disney dream by visiting the castle which inspired both the 1991 cartoon and the 2017 live-action film.
The Chateau de Chambord in the Loire Valley was used to design Beast’s castle.
When designing the beast’s castle in the new Hollywood movie, the set designers wanted to create something similar to the fairytale property in the Disney cartoon.
Production designer Sarah Greenwood went for several recces in France during the design process, before building the set at the movie studios back in London.
On one of her trips, the four-times Oscar nominated designer paid a visit to Chateau de Chambord, and took detailed notes on the architecture and interior design.
The 426-room castle was never fully finished, however.
It was built by Francis I as a hunting lodge between 1519 and 1547, and was never intended to be a home.
However, it was eventually the home of Stanislas I, the overthrown King of Poland and father-in-law of King Louis XV in the 18th century.
The French Rococo style of the castle, which was made a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1981, was then recreated on the set at Shepperton Studios.
They also took inspiration from several other grand properties, including the Palace of Versailles, Wies Church in Bavaria and Nymphenburg Palace in Munich (where the Hall of Mirrors resembles Belle’s bedroom).
But the influence of the Chateau de Chambord is particularly obvious when you look at pictures of the castle on its Instagram page, especially when comparing it to both the cartoon and the Hollywood movie.
Little touches like the French-style kitchen, the grand stained glass windows, the turrets on the castle roof and the grand entrance hall are all spotted at the property.
Fans of the film can go and recreate some of the magic themselves at the property as it is open for visitors.
You can visit 362 days a year and children go free, but adults have to pay €14.50 (£12).
For some fairytale magic, you can see the area by horse-drawn carriage, with the largest enclosed park in Europe being as big as inner Paris.
There are also live jousting and birds of prey exhibitions, showing what the castle life would have been like during Francois I reign.
However, one of the most exciting events of the year happens at Christmas – a 16th century dance concert.
Guests can join a 30 minute concert at the Cour des Valoi, dressed in traditional dresses, as well as take an introduction to Renaissance dance afterwards.
You can also organise private and group tours in advance.
You can’t stay at the castle, but the hotel Relais de Chambord overlooks the castle and the grounds, with prices from £127 per night.
It isn’t the only French location that inspired the films.
The hometown of Belle, Villeneuve, was based on the small town of Conques in southern France.
While the town was also filmed at Shepperton Studios, the cobbled streets and wonky building were mirrored from the town to the movie.
Other inspirations included the ceiling of Braunau Monastary in Germany for the ballroom.
You can also visit Sleeping Beauty’s castle, with Neuschwanstein Castle in Bavaria inspiring Walt Disney during a trip to Europe with his wife.
An eerie abandoned region in Turkey has been called the “Disney village” with identical fairytale castles abandoned and decaying.
We’ve also rounded up the Mary Poppins filming locations, many of which are in London.
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