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During the summer, there were two additions to the listed sites in the Loire Valley. One is the “entity consisting of the chateau, the hillsides, the typical sandy (varenne) fields, the aqueduct and the Loire at Luynes” and the other is “the Loire landscape and the Abbey of Saint-Benoît”.
These two sites are among the 20 sites listed in the Centre-Val de Loire Region because of their representative nature in terms of the World Heritage inscription criteria for the Loire Valley.
The nature of the landscape on the Luynes site and the components of its cultural heritage give rise to its specific picturesque value. The most singular feature of the Luynes site is obviously the chateau and its spectacular setting, in a key topographic position.
The setting of the listed site as a whole forms a stunning landscape, with the unobstructed silhouette of the castle, as it emerges on its promontory, in its preserved agricultural and natural context. The views from the hillside, the valley, the levee and the nearby banks of the Loire, and from the opposite bank, help form the impression of this typical configuration, imposed by the shape of the valley, and preserved through the centuries.
The site includes all the hillsides on either side of the chateau as far as the eye can see. It also incorporates the “Varennes” sandy soil field layout, the Loire and both its banks, and their fascinating views. It is thus representative of the unity of the typical Loire transect, structured around an occupied hill overlooked by an agricultural plateau dominating the rest of the valley and the Loire.
This site was listed because of its specific context in the Loire Valley: the meandering valley that stretches from Sully-sur-Loire to Orléans. It contains a number of characteristic features of the Loire Valley: the levees and the ports of Saint-Benoît and Guilly (evidence of past river navigation). The expanses of cereal and market garden agriculture, resulting in an open landscape.
The main structure on the site is the Abbey of Saint-Benoît-sur-Loire, built in the 7th century, which stands out in the landscape because of its sheer size, its slate roofs and its entrance tower.
The aim of the listing is to protect (and restore) the picturesque character of this site (and in particular the views of the basilica).
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