Cour-sur-Loire and the revival of the ferry

Published on 13 April 2017 - Updated 16 November 2018

Cour-sur-Loire is a few kilometres east of Ménars. The village includes the Saint-Vincent church from the 12th and 15th centuries with its Renaissance stained glass windows and its 15th century château. Both buildings were renovated by Jacques Hurault, from Blois, Louis XII’s General of Finances.

The 15th and 16th century buildings are often hidden behind high stone walls. This small village lies immediately next to the river, with no levee to separate them. The gardens found here create a harmonious relationship between the natural and built environments. In the olden days, there were two working ports here, one directly on the River Loire and the other set back, on the mouth of the Tronne; in the Vivier quarter.

Before a bridge was built at Muides-sur-Loire in 1843, the only way to cross the river between Blois and Beaugency was the ferry. In the Cour-sur-Loire port, a ferry and a ferry-man carried passengers up until the 1950s. Every summer, since summer 2015, on the initiative of Marins du Port du Chambord (the Sailors of Chambord Port) a ferry operates between Cour-sur-Loire and Montlivault. The crossing is made diagonally across the River Loire. Montlivault port is upriver, so you have to leave 15 minutes to reach it whilst the journey back downriver only takes 5 minutes.

The ferry that is currently used is a flat-bottomed barge or toue, similar to those which would have been used in olden times. Today, it draws pedestrians and cyclists taking the Loire à vélo route.