Legend has it that Montrésor owes its name to a lizard—one coming out from a grotto in the hill covered in gold. Legend or not, this medieval town is one of the many pleasant treasures to be visited throughout the Touraine. The rocky peak was in the 10th century the property of the treasurer of the chapter house of Tours Cathedral. As early as 1005, Fulk Nerra, count of Anjou ordered his captain “Roger le Petit Diable” to build a powerful fortress here. Later, it was to be the property of families with illustrious names as Chauvigny in the 12th century, Palluau in the 13th century and particularly Bueil in the 14th century. In 1493 the estates around Montrésor became the property of Imbert de Bastarnay (Diane de Poitier’s grandfather and counsellor to Louis XI, Charles VIII, Louis XII and François I successively). It was he who built the Renaissance château within the feudal grounds. The main wing remains overlooking the River Indrois. Perhaps the best way to view the château, fortress and collegiate church is along the banks of the Indrois with its scenic walking paths that wind along the river’s edge, offering magnificent views. The château was restored and refurbished in the 19th century by the Polish Count Xavier Branicki, whose descendants still live here. This metallic footbridge called the le pont du Jardinier was installed around 1870 as part of Count Branicki’s project to join the courtyard of the château to the park below. After the count’s death, his beautiful and expensive project was never realized. The bridge was manufactured at the famous Eiffel Works in Paris. It creates a link between the château’s gardens on each side of the river. Private or public, small or large, there used to be no less than ten washhouses spread along the riverside of Montrésor. The first washhouse was created here at the beginning of the 20th century. Later, around 1948, the current washhouse was built. Working in the washhouse was hard work but it was also a convivial meeting place and ideal for catching up with the latest village gossip. An overflow weir blocks the Indrois River and diverts part of its flow to the millrace. It allows it to overflow thus ensuring that the water is kept at a constant level. When crossing the footbridge at the foot of the weir, if the water is not too high, one can see the foundations of a much older weir in V-form. The circular building along the millrace is called Le Bélier Hydraulique. A small sign explains its invention by the Montgolfier brothers, its history and use within the château’s estates. It was installed around 1876. Walking through the small, medieval village, one finds buildings of great character, such as the 16th century Chancellor’s House and the Halle des Cardeux covered market (1700), which now serves as a permanent arts and exhibition center. The Mairie dates from 1581 and is decorated with Renaissance dormers and an échauguette tower at one corner. At the foot of the ancient fortress is the 15th century half-timbered maison à colombage as well as the remains of the ancient church of St-Roch, now someone’s home. Imbert de Bastarnay erected the Collégiale St-Jean Baptiste to shelter his family’s burial vault. He died in 1523 at the age of 85 and the church was completed around 1541. It is quite a gem and houses a 17th century Annunciation by Philippe de Champaigne. An elegant pointed steeple about 35 meters high surmounts the building, which is 34 meters long. In bad condition during the 19th century, due to a lack of money, the town council had a small steeple constructed but it took a gift from Count Xavier Branicki in 1875 to see the steeple spire rebuilt with neo-Gothic wood panelling. During the restoration in the 20th century the wood panelling was removed in favor of slate facing.