Today I toured with a company through Expedia known as à la française. Camille was phenomenal as a guide and this was such a unique experience. What made it even more wonderful was we were all English speaking so much was learned and we got along – an added bonus. No tr folk. Yeah!
Here’s Camille’s info if interested in an amazing trip. She has recently begun her business and is looking into a Christmas tour of the castles – oh la la! What a dream trip.
Chateau De Chenonceau
This Castle is owned privately by the Mentier Chocolate Company of France, (a subsidiary of Nestle). They purchased the Castle in 1912, and began renovations at that time. There are 103 castles which are open to the public in France.
Castles can be open to the public or owned by families. They can be devoted to touring or become a hotel establishment if the owner wishes tax breaks. While the government can offer to help financially, the paperwork is challenging and difficult.
At Chenonceau there are floral gardens – the Queen’s, and the King’s mistress, wine tasting, and vegetable gardens, and an array to beauty to take in.
Let’s start taking in that beauty.
Welcome to Chenonceau
The Home of King Henry II’s Mistress and Her Gardens
Catherine de Medici Gardens – She was King Henry II’s wife, and her gardens were a bit sparser. While the King respected Catherine, his favorite was his mistress, Diane de Poitiers.
More outside views of the castle
Originally there was vast acreage associated with the Castle and much hunting occurred on the property.
The Dungeon – this was the original structure on the property. There was also a mill on the property, however, once construction began the mill was destroyed but the Dungeon remained. Only nobles in Medieval times were allowed dungeons.
This Castle is considered a ladies castle as so many royal woman inhabited it. Catherine was known to give extensive parties here as she felt if people partied they were happy and not likely to engage in war. Interesting idea. During World War I and II the Castle was used as a hospital with the owner paying to establish this.
Hallway where recovering prisoners were housed. They were said to fish out the windows of this hallway for recreation.
A tribute to those who were cared for at this site.
In the out buildings of the Castle there is an exhibit showing how the hospital was arranged and developed.
More Out Buildings on the Property
A Display of Carriages of the Time
A Wine Tasting Room
And inside the Castle..
The Sun King’s Bedroom
The Kitchen – was the most extensive I have ever seen.
Wouldn’t want to be the gal assigned to scrubbing those copper pots. Would you??
Some Beautiful Tapestries
King Henry II died at a young age in a war related event. After that Catherine de Medici threw Diane out sending her to another castle to live and she took residence at Chenonceau.
Oh, the stories of the Renaissance!