Tanlay Things to Do Tips by hquittner
Tanlay Things to Do: 7 reviews and 30 photos
Jupiter (Henri II) Presiding over Olympus
Carefully study the ceiling of the Tour de la Ligue, the last and most highly regarded element of the tour. On it is a fresco (incomplete) in the Fontainebleau style by an unidentified painter(s). It is an Allegory situated on Olympus populated by mostly nude figures representing the Gods and Godesses but with contemporary 16C heads most of which can be identified. The allegory is probably lifted from a poem of Ronsard (who was a familiar of the members of the League). The League is said to have met in this tower room to plan strategy. The identities that are gleaned from Ronsard are: 1) at the center as Jupiter: King Henri II (#1). 2) Catherine de Medici with her back to us next to a peacock (far right of picture #3) as Juno. 3) Diane de Poitiers as Venus 4) the Cardinal of Lorraine, an important secret Huguenot, as Mercury. Among the others that are represented (see if you can find them: the Duke de Guise (as Mars) and Admiral de Coligny as Neptune. A diagram would have been more helpful than the guide.
Rear View of Chateau Body from Tower
The upper level of the League Tower is unfurnished in sharp contrast to the rest of the chateau. The rear of the chateau faces a tailored park which can be visited or glanced at from the tower, which provides an interesting view of the rear facade. In the front beyond the little chateau are ancient outbuildings near the outer wall which is finely arcaded. The grounds are open to the public and advantage is taken of this fact by the elderly locals who come in to sit, stand, or meditate.
Cour d'Honneur Facade
After the elaborate approach, the facade of the chateau is not so impressive, but it does have a complete set of dormwe winsows. There are complicated stairwells at the corners of the main body of the chateau which rise above the three floors and end with domes capped by lanterns. The lateral wings extend forward through arcades (closed in) to square ends. Lateral to the ends are echoing domes and lanterns.
This is NOT the Chateau ("Little Chateau")
One enters through an arched gate in the outer wall (#5) into an expansive area of well kept grounds. Immediately ahead is a gate (#2) followed by an impressive building, the "Little Chateau", built in 1558 after the main building was started. It is as big as many Parisian "Hotels", and serves as an extra dwelling. It is a compact two storyed structure with what looks like a rusticated lower level (but is in fact more elaborate, see illustration#3). It is topped by a steep roof with a dormer level and tall chimneys. As one emerges through a passage in the ground floor, the real chateau comes into view. (The upper floors were built later than the lower one).
The Chateau Ahead
We now enter the spacious park and see the rectangular moat which hugs the relaxed and sprawling chateau. The entry is is flanked by two small gate houses topped by white bricked pyramids protecting a bridge over the moat. On the chateau side is a massive gatehouse with columns like an overgrown triumphal arch that became a building. The original owner and builder was Francois de Coligny d'Andelot in 1550. (The tragic and heroic story of the Coligny family will be briefly detailed in a General Tip here). Construction of the chateau stopped with the death of Francois in 1569 but was taken up again in 1643-48 by Particelli d'Hemery, a finance minister, who engaged Le Muet to finish the work retaining the original concept. Admission to the grouds is free. The Chateau offers 7 guided tours of the interior April 1-November 2, daily except Tuesday at half-past 9-11AM and 15 minutes past at 1-4 PM only in French. (Our entire group only understood English, which the guide spoke, but not on the tour!). The tour takes 50 minutes. Tickets are purchased inside the chateau. I think it is still privately owned.
Hall of the Caesars
The most interesting interior features are the Hall of the Caesars with its many busts, the drawing room, the staircases and the varied fireplaces, most of which we could not photograph. There were also a few fine tapestries but I did not learn their titles or provenance. Many rooms appear to be occupied (eg the billiard room is certainly a recent arrangement). Most spectacular was the Great Gallery filled with monochrome trompe l'oeil work featuring statues of Greek characters (I think of writers). No documents were provided but that was long ago.
hquittner's Related Pages
Tanlay Travel Guide
Member Travel Pages
- "A Tiny Town with a Fine 16C Chateau"
- "A stop in Tanlay"
- "Tanlay - Boat Stop"
- See All...
Explore the World
- Matraman Hotels
- Bristol Center Hotels
- Eastbourne Hotels
- Oldham Hotels
Badges & Stats in Tanlay
- 6 Reviews
- 31 Photos
- 0 Forum posts
- 0 Comments
- See All Stats
- See All Badges (49)
Have you been to Tanlay?Share Your Travels
Latest Activity in Tanlay
Photos in TanlaySee All Photos (31)
Top 10 Pages
- Paris Intro, 226 reviews, 938 photos, 5 travelogues
- Autun Intro, 17 reviews, 356 photos, 2 travelogues
- Versailles Intro, 45 reviews, 207 photos, 4 travelogues
- Munich Intro, 34 reviews, 157 photos
- Top 5 Page for this destination Chartres Intro, 32 reviews, 159 photos, 5 travelogues
- Top 5 Page for this destination Lyon Intro, 34 reviews, 145 photos
- Carcassonne Intro, 33 reviews, 143 photos
- Top 5 Page for this destination Toulouse Intro, 31 reviews, 138 photos
- Top 5 Page for this destination Bordeaux Intro, 34 reviews, 127 photos
- Top 5 Page for this destination Arles Intro, 33 reviews, 121 photos