Richelieu Property Insight

Richelieu is a French town in the Indre-et-Loire department in the Indre-et-Loire region; it is located at the south of Chinon and at the west of Sainte-Maure-de-Touraine. This 2,195-inhabitant (called the Richelais ) town was created by the renowned namesake Cardinal Richelieu, Louis XIII’s Prime Minister.

The town was built in 1631, under Richelieu supervisory control and is today a masterpiece of the 17th century town-planning. The town was designed by Jacques Lemercier, architect who also created the Sorbonne in Paris and the Palais-Cardinal (nowadays called the Palais Royal). Richelieu gave him the duty to design a castle and a new town, symbol of its power and ambition. The construction lasted between 1631 and 1642, year when the Cardinal died, and more than 2,000 workers were hired.


Richelieu town covers 700 metres long and 500 metres wide, it is surrounded with walls and moats, and can be accessed by three main huge doors; actually, a fake fourth one was built to respect symmetry. The town is articulated around two symmetric squares: the Royal Square (today called as the Nuns’ square) and the Cardinal Square (today the Market square).

In order to insure a rapid population, the Cardinal exempted the town from taxes and made sure each house was built according to specifications and under Thiriot or Barbet supervisory control. As a result, Richelieu is “the most beautiful village in the Universe”, according to Jean de la Fontaine.

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Richelieu Immobilier & Property Market Trends

House prices in the whole Indre-et-Loire department, and even in the whole Centre region, are quite low, if compared to the French average (€3,197 /sq m). Richelieu is not an exception. With €1,110 /sq m, Richelieu is even more affordable than the Indre-et-Loire department in general (€2,200 /sq m). This trend is very surprising and even unexplainable when we take into account all the assets the area displays. The only drawback might be it is a bit remote from the main communication axis; however, it is only 62km from Tours and 21km from Chinon.

To get updated info about property prices in Indre-et-Loire, please browse our French Property Market Reports published in the News Section every month.

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3 Reasons to Buy a Property in Richelieu

  • Architectural style: Richelieu is definitely a place to go if you are keen in architecture. The town has been and is still a model for the construction of many European towns. The Traversière street is edged with 28 identical mansions closed by carriage entrances that give way to an inside courtyard. Other architectural monuments include the Church, designed by Pierre Lemercier, and the covered-market, finished in 1638, which stands out for its former timber roof-structure.

  • Culture, art and historical heritage: Richelieu is a listed town and is now protected. You must not miss the 28 mansions with their beautiful porchs. The town’s doors are also to be seen, as well as the former city walls, the Church, the covered market and the town council museum. Unfortunately, the Castle was destroyed and now we can only visit some vestiges of what used to be the second most beautiful castle in France (after Fontainebleau).

  • Lifestyle: Richelieu is a peaceful town where quickly you will get to know everyone. Quality of life in this town is high according to many criteria: fruits and vegetables in the whole Indre-et-Loire department are delicious, houses are comfortable and luxurious (only 18% of apartments), and people are very welcoming, especially in small villages where foreigners do not go unnoticed.

Property Styles and Architecture in Richelieu

  • Farmhouses: usually located just outside the town, these houses come with a huge piece of land (around 1,500 sq m). Most of them have been restored recently, however you can also find old ones that need to be restored; obviously they will be cheaper and you will be able to sell it twice as the price afterwards. In average they have 3 bedrooms, a traditional French kitchen, a fireplace. They can be 2 storey high and usually come with 1 or 2 independent buildings, which used to be stables and are nowadays garage or apartments.

  • Maisons de Maitre: this kind of house used to belong to wealthy people who would have built their house in order to impress farmers or neighbourgs. This explains why they are impressive houses, 2 or 3 storey high, they have a courtyard and come with a huge piece of land. On the ground floor you would usually find a tiled flooring and a timber (usually oak) staircase, a fireplace, the kitchen, a living room and one bathroom. On the first floor there are usually the bedrooms, 2 or 3, depending on the size, and another bathroom. To go to the second floor you will usually find a ladder staircase.

Click here for more info about the Architecture in Centre.

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Take a closer look at the Indre-et-Loire property market:
Amboise Property Information Chinon Property Information
Loches Property Information Tours Property Information