This is one of the country's greatest secular Gothic structures. Take a 1-hour guided tour -- the only way to see the palace -- through the four buildings surrounding a central court, constructed around 1450 by the finance minister and banker Jacques Coeur. M. Coeur never got to enjoy the palace, however. After a trial by a jury of his creditors, the wealthy financier was tossed into prison by Charles VII and died there in 1456. His furnishings no longer remain, but the decor and wealth of detail inside the palace allow a remarkable view of 15th-century opulence. In the dining hall is a monumental chimney piece, and in the great hall are sculptures from the 15th and 16th centuries. The mandatory tour is in French; English speakers receive a printed translation of the commentary.