Day trip to Saumur yesterday, beautiful weather all day, mid 80's with light breeze. The town's Chateau de Saumur is rumored to be one of the castles used for inspiration for Disney's Cinderella's Castle, unable to confirm that report with further research - but the castle sure looks familiar if you've ever been to Disneyland. This castle is just a few centuries older.
Saumur was also the assigned city for France's Cavalry - predating Napoleon, and the city remains the headquarters of the French Cavalry School, as well as regarded as the nation's center of horsemanship and all things equine. The photo on right is a partial shot of the classrooms to the north of the school. Several indoor and outdoor riding areas also surround the school.
The photo below, left is of one of the jogging tracks surrounding each side of the school, a soft sand/dirt track allows for excellent footing for which to cool down the hoses after exercise.
Jade Dalleau, jounalist, notes:
"Famed throughout the world, the Cadre Noir (Black Squad) of Saumur is the keeper of an equestrian tradition that is an integral part of France’s cultural heritage. Its most noble mission: teaching."
Cadre Noir link