the chateau series: chenonceau

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This is our final instalment for the series and we are featuring:

Chateau de Chenonceau

Possibly one of, if not, the most famous chateau in the region. We didn’t purposefully save it for last, it was in fact the last one we saw.

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Back in 2006, Chenonceau was the only one we were able to see so on our return trip, we wanted to make sure to see some others but also come back to the one that started it all for us.

So what is so special about it?

It is built over the River Cher – literally and had also had some rather famous inhabitants. And not to mention that it is rather a treat to explore.

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Easily the busiest one we visited as well.

Let’s revisit a bit of what we mentioned in the Chaumont post about this one.

Diane de Poitiers lived in Chenonceau. Catherine de Medici lived in Chaumont. Catherine de Medici traded houses with Diane de Poitiers.

Each of the ladies contributed to the architecture work that can be seen on the house today.

A quick tour of the place will see us taking you to …

* Diane de Portier’s bedroom – with the symbolic 4-poster bed and 2 large tapestries from the 16th Century. Oddly enough, her room is where the portrait of Catherine De Medici is housed, hung above the fireplace.

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* the Gallery – located in the bridge that you see in the above picture. The end of the gallery are two fireplaces on either side of the South door which opened to the left bank of River Cher.

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Wise Monkey Trivia – During the First World War, the chateau was set up as a hospital (by its owner), the gallery was an access point. During the Second World War, the River Cher was the “line of demarcation” as such, the gallery was used to pass large numbers of people into the free zone.

* the kitchens – built in the bases forming the first two piers built in the bed of the River Cher. Looking out the window, we see the “arch legs of the chateau” and the River Cher below.

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* Louis XIV’s Drawing Room – another ornate fireplace with the Salamander of Francois I (as previously shown in Chambord) and a Stoat for Queen Claude of France.

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* Catherine de Medici’s bedroom – with the finely carved 4-poster bed and furniture. The tapestries housed in this room are rare and fascinating. The borders of the tapestries are filled with animals symbolising proverbs and fables.

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And from the first floor, look out the windows! To the left, we see Catherine’s garden.

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To our right, we see Diane’s garden.

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Yet another unique and extravagant chateau with such jaw-dropping architecture.  As we often say, we would love to be a fly on the wall back in the day – simply so we could see how every day life was and to see the historical figures in action!

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That winds up our 8-part series of the Chateaux we saw in the Loire Valley; 8 of a vast amount in the region (not all of which are open to the public though).

Now that we have showcased the 8 in a bit more detail and you’ve glimpsed the inside….

Do you have a favourite chateau?

If you commented on the original post, have you changed your mind?

Feel free to leave us a comment.

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22 thoughts on “the chateau series: chenonceau

    Adeline @ 100 Yen Bets said:
    July 27, 2015 at 1:39 am

    Visiting Chenonceau as a little girl is one of the few clear memories I have of France – so it’d say this one is my favourite! Having a chateau that is also a bridge is just brilliant. And beautiful!

      wisemonkeysabroad responded:
      July 27, 2015 at 6:04 pm

      Clearly a memorable chateau 🙂 Glad you have been able to to visit it! Thanks for your comment!

    goannasnake said:
    July 18, 2015 at 10:25 am

    I’ve only been to Cheonceau and Chambord and loved them both. I can’t pick a favourite of those two so would have no hope if I’d been to all 8 of yours. Lovely series. Thank you.

      wisemonkeysabroad responded:
      July 18, 2015 at 5:00 pm

      Two very stunning ones that you visited 🙂 It’ certainly is tough picking a fav…. It’s like we were in a different world being there!

    LyndaS said:
    July 16, 2015 at 11:23 am

    I need to go to Europe so that I can pick a favorite chateau!

    I would not want to have been a fly on the wall back then – I would want to have been ROYALTY. 🙂

      wisemonkeysabroad responded:
      July 16, 2015 at 1:32 pm

      Hahah! Totally agree with you Lynda 😉 But think we prefer the comfort of nowadays way more!

    the eternal traveller said:
    July 15, 2015 at 9:26 pm

    What a stunning place and I love that blue bed.

      wisemonkeysabroad responded:
      July 15, 2015 at 10:36 pm

      It was really something… And with its history – added to the thrill of being there 🙂

    Gypsy Bev said:
    July 15, 2015 at 2:12 pm

    What a beautiful setting for the castle. The garden views were spectacular.

      wisemonkeysabroad responded:
      July 15, 2015 at 10:35 pm

      It is certainly a gorgeous setting for the castle. Quite a place to to visit let alone live it like they used to 🙂

    AndysWorldJourneys said:
    July 15, 2015 at 7:18 am

    this one takes the cake! the water adds a certain something… an elevated garden surrounded by water? moats, boats and more! any chance they time share?

      wisemonkeysabroad responded:
      July 15, 2015 at 10:34 pm

      Yes, we heard that they were offering time share while we were there 😉 includes the uncomfortable beds too of course!

    Mani (A New Life Wandering) said:
    July 15, 2015 at 4:00 am

    Wow, certainly extravagant! I love the kitchens and the gardens. You may have mentioned across the posts, but which one/ones were your favorite?

      wisemonkeysabroad responded:
      July 15, 2015 at 10:32 pm

      Aha…. Million dollar question!! It’s way too hard to pick an absolute favourite as they each have an element of something we loved either the exterior, the interior, the history, the inhabitants, the gardens etc etc…

    CrazyChineseFamily said:
    July 15, 2015 at 12:50 am

    What an interesting place for this chateau! Those portraits of the noble people always do look creepy, no one I would like to meet in a dark alley 🙂

      wisemonkeysabroad responded:
      July 15, 2015 at 10:31 pm

      Hahah… Totally! Imagine sleeping in one of these nowadays with the portraits, dim lighting, suits of armours…. No thanks 😉

    lovetotrav said:
    July 14, 2015 at 10:31 pm

    Wouldn’t it be fascinating to take one step back in time and just “live” and “feel” these chateaux when they were functioning and breathing with real lives? Even with all the facts I always wonder what it was really like to live back then in such splendor and space.

      wisemonkeysabroad responded:
      July 15, 2015 at 10:30 pm

      We would really love to step back in time… Be a fly on the wall – watch behind a false mirror – put in cctv! Anything to witness what life was like 🙂

    Mabel Kwong said:
    July 14, 2015 at 10:07 pm

    Another brilliant piece on chateaus. Really enjoyed following along. This one is pretty spectacular – the two ladies even had their own massive gardens in those days. They must have loved both architecture and nature. It is interesting to note that the beds in the chateaus you’ve shown are rather shallow in length…at least that is what I see 😀 Hope you two are doing well, and stay warm ❄

      wisemonkeysabroad responded:
      July 15, 2015 at 10:29 pm

      Aha! In those days, shorts beds for sleeping upright, remember? Lying down was for the dead…
      Thanks Mabel for following along 🙂 Glad you enjoyed the series!!
      Cannot wait for warmer weather 🙂

    Melinda Lusmore said:
    July 14, 2015 at 9:06 pm

    This one is easily my favourite – and I was there in 2006 also! Perhaps we passed each in the corridor 🙂

    Your photos have captured all its charm!

      wisemonkeysabroad responded:
      July 15, 2015 at 10:27 pm

      Fancy that!! We probably were standing alongside one another admiring the same tapestry 😉
      It is truly a gorgeous place!

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