Chateaux of the Loire Valley: Chenonceau

Day 2 and Chateau No. 3 – the other chateau on most tourist’s must-do lists. And this one is truly beautiful – even if we did visit on a Sunday morning on the first rainy day we’d had all trip.

Henry II bought this place for his long-time mistress Diane De Poitiers. At 20 years his senior she was apparently the love of his life.

Diane created the fabulous gardens here and also built the bridge across the river so she could go hunting on the other side.

When Henry died his wife, Catherine de Medici took back the chateau – even though she had apparently no legal right to it.  It was all part of a revenge that she’d waited a long time – her whole marriage – to take.

It was Catherine who built the gallery over the bridge – creating a long ballroom that needs to be seen to be fully appreciated. I tried to picture it full of fabulous people in fabulous finery instead of the rabble of tourists – it didn’t work.

Inside the chateau, it’s a sumptuous as any chateau has a right to be and much more richly furnished than Chambord was.

As for the flowers…oh, the flowers…

The grounds are also beautiful – and more extensive than we were able to cover in the rain.

We visited on a wet Sunday morning in May and it was absolutely packed. I’d hate to think how busy it gets in the summertime!

 

3 Replies to “Chateaux of the Loire Valley: Chenonceau”

  1. Another gorgeous chateau to discover with you Jo. Even the rain couldn’t dampen the splender. Those gardens are beautiful and I could just see myself taking long walks each day. Isn’t it wonderful that these historic buildings and their contents are maintained for us all to enjoy. Thank you!

  2. Hi, Jo – I have been enjoying my virtual tours with you immensely.. Like Sue, I can visualize myself walking in that garden. Nicely written!

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