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Google to create virtual tours of the Loire Valley chateaux

If you can't make it to see the jewels of the Loire Valley in person then at least you can visit them via your laptop.

Google to create virtual tours of the Loire Valley chateaux
Google makes a virtual tour of the Chateau de Chambord. Photo: AFP

Google has signed up with 18 Loire Valley chateaux to create virtual tours of the former royal dwellings, the Internet giant's Cultural Institute said on Tuesday.

“Not everyone is fortunate enough to be able to travel to the Loire Valley to see these wonders with their own eyes,” the Paris-based institute said in a statement.

Thanks to Street View image capture technology, people can take virtual tours of Chenonceau, Chambord, Azay-le-Rideau and 15 other of the national treasures strung along the Loire in central France, including spaces that are normally off-limits to the public.

(Chateau de Chenonceau. AFP)

(Chateau de Chambord. AFP)

Seven of the sites can be overflown in three dimensions.

Another technology, Art Camera, homes in on details of an artwork that are invisible to the naked eye, such as the Oriental ceiling of the Villandry chateau, the Apocalypse Tapestry of Angers and the frescoes of Fontevraud Abbey.

(Chateau Azay-le-Rideau. AFP)

The new technology provides even greater resolution than Gigapixel, which Google has used to digitise artworks.

Google has similar agreements with more than 1,000 museums and cultural institutions in more than 60 countries around the world.

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Tell us: How strict are French border checks

We know there are a lot of rules in place right now for travel into France - but just how strictly are these being enforced in reality? If you have recently travelled to France, share your experiences with us.

Tell us: How strict are French border checks
Photo: Valery Hache/AFP

Depending where you are travelling from, entry to France can now require a vaccination certificate, negative Covid test, health declaration and proof of the essential nature of your journey.

Meanwhile for arrivals from the UK, post-Brexit rules are in place for everything from passports to pets, visas to sandwiches.

But just how strict are the checks being done on the ground?

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