Skip to main content

Château de Chenonceau: Loire Valley’s Most Popular Chateau

Château de Chenonceau transports you to the Renaissance-era France with this charming setting and the romantic appeal that both the gardens and the magnificent Cher River have to offer. Aside from being the second most visited chateau in France, next to Versailles, Chenonceau was dubbed as the “ladies chateau,” thanks to the many powerful women who played their role, not only in French history, but also influenced the design and its destiny of Chenonceau.

Built by Katherine Briçonnet from 1515-1521, the chateau was later given by Henri II to his mistress, the famous Diane de Poitiers. She worked towards the creation of the extensive flower and vegetable gardens and orchard. The area along the Cher was usually prone to flooding and so she had stone terraces erected to protect her exquisite gardens of four triangles.

With the death of Henri II, his widow, Catherine de Medici forced Diane to exchange it with Chateau Chaumont. Catherine de Medici spent a fortune expanding the chateau, not to mention the lavish nighttime parties she had thrown there. An ambitious plan to enlarge the chateau did not materialize, but if it did, it could have looked like an enormous manor laid out "like pincers around the existing buildings," very different to how it looks like today.

The castle passed on the Catherine’s daughter-in-law, Louise de Lorraine, who spent her days after the assassination of her husband, Henri III. It was eventually acquired by Henri IV for his illegitimate son, the Duke of Vendome, whose descendants retained ownership for the next 100 years until the Duke of Bourbon purchased the property.

Chenonceau's view from the southeast. Image: Wikimedia Commons

The Caryatids. They were originally located in the north facade but was moved to the park some time in 1875. Image: Wikimedia Commons

In 1733, Chenonceau was acquired for 130,000 livres by Claude Dupin, a wealthy squire. His Louise Dupin, was famous for being "an intelligent, beautiful, and highly cultivated woman who had the theater in her blood." Louise transformed Chenonceau as hub of some of the most popular figures during the Enlightenment, like Voltaire, Montesquieu, and Fontenelle. It was also because of Louise’s effort that the château was saved during the French Revolution. When the Revolutionary Guard were about to destroy it, she reasoned out that Chenonceau "it was essential to travel and commerce, being the only bridge across the river for many miles."

In 1864, Chenonceau was acquired by Marguerite Pelouze who commissioned architect Félix Roguet to restore it, refurbishing the interior and eliminating most of Catherine de' Medici's additions. Thus, the rooms between the library and the chapel and her alterations to the north façade were cleared, including figures of Hercules, Pallas, Apollo, and Cybele. Marguerite’s excessive spending, though, proved too much for her finances. The château was forfeited and sold.

Chenonceau passed hands to many owners, was badly damaged during World War II, until Bernard Voisin painstakingly worked hard to restore the structure and the gardens back to its original grandeur.

The Gallery at Chenonceau. Image: Wikimedia Commons

Diane de Poitiers' bedchamber. Image: Wikimedia Commons

Francis I's drawing room. Image: Wikimedia Commons
Catherine de Medici's bedchamber. Image: Wikimedia Commons


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Popular posts from this blog

The Truth about “Princess Qajar,” the Royal Lady with the Mustache

A Persian Princess viral news websites baptized as Princess Qajar has lately become a stuff of legends. She was presented as a royal lady with a facial hair that made her so attracted that 13 men claimed their own lives because she couldn’t love them. The truth is, there is no “Princess Qajar,” but there is a the Qajar dynasty of Persia that ruled over Persian for more than a century.

The only fact about this historical meme is that at that time, it was fashionable for Persian women to wear mustache. “Many Persian-language sources, as well as photographs, from the nineteenth century confirm that Qajar women sported a thin mustache, or more accurately a soft down, as a sign of beauty,” explained Dr. Afsaneh Najmabadi.
The memes and fake stories circulating online refer not to a single princess, but actually to two female dynasts: Princess Fatemah Khanum"'Esmat al-Dowleh" and her half-sister, Princess Zahra Khanom Tadj es-Saltaneh. Their father, Naser al-Din Shah Qajar, …

A Day in the Life of The Queen: How Queen Elizabeth II Spends Her Day

Queen Elizabeth II is a stickler for order, and so routine is a part of Her Majesty’s day-to-day life. She rises at around 8.30 am and would be greeted by a piper who plays at 9am on the terrace beneath her apartment at Buckingham Palace. When longtime attendant and confidante Margaret MacDonald was still in service, Don Coolican noted that  Bobo, as The Queen affectionately called MacDonald, would awaken her, “bringing in a cup of tea and a plate of biscuits handed over by the footman.” The Queen’s corgis are the first creatures to grace The Queen , who would also beg to be given biscuits, Coolican writes.

10 Interesting Facts About Princess Margaret of United Kingdom, Countess of Snowdon

Princess Margaret Rose was one of the most popular, albeit controversial, royals during her lifetime. She was a rather sad figure, a victim of love at an early age and a person who constantly sought affection and attention as she went on to looked for the real meaning of her life. Might as well want to learn about the colorful life of Queen Elizabeth II's younger sister? Here are 10 interesting facts about her.

1. Born on August 30, 1930, in Glamis, the family seat of her mother's family, Princess Margaret was the first member of the British Royal Family to be born in Scotland for over 300 years.

2. Her parents, the then Duke and Duchess of York (later King George VI and Queen Elizabeth) wanted to call her Anne, but her grandfather, King George V, vetoed, so they named her Margaret Rose, instead.

3. In 1936, the princess' relatively peaceful life was altered considerably when his uncle, King Edward VIII, abdicated to marry the woman he loved, the two-time American divorce…