"Another Superlative!" Chenonceau by hquittner
Chenonceau Travel Guide: 154 reviews and 442 photos
Of all of the Loire region chateaux. the Chateau de Chenonceau is arguably the finest of all . We agree, and well it ought to be. It was lavishly and artfully built and enhanced by two of the the most intelligent and forceful Catherines of that time , who were resident (owners) there. It is THE "Women's Castle". Due to a 3rd woman owner (Mme. Dupin), it was spared during the Revolution because the people respected her so greatly. Today (since 1913), it is owned by the Menier chocolate family who are rich enough to have maintained it for the public, although I would guess it is now a tourist money-maker.
We so enjoyed our first visit 20 years ago, that we when we decided to introduce our four grown sons and their wives to the glories of independent travel in Europe, the inclusion of the Loire was in order. After some days in Paris, Chenonceau would be the first chateau they would ever see, not counting the one we were staying and dining in. (To be covered soon in a Tip under Centre). During our first trip we visit numerous chateaux and later stopped at others while going elsewhere in France, but there is only one Chenonceau.
The peculiar feature of Chenonceau is not the bridge over the Cher, but the Galleries built above it. Catherine de Medici added them no doubt with memories of the private passageway from the Uffizi to the Pitti Palace in Florence over the Ponte Vecchio. (She intended to connect it to a new chateau on the other bank). But time and historical events have given us reasons to accept the extension as charming (although nonfunctional).
- Pros:Take it slow. See it all
- Cons:I know ONE person who did not like it.
- In a nutshell:The "Must See" of the Loire
One of the features of Chenonceau are the Gardens of the two rivals Catherine de Medici and Diane de Poitiers. If the... more travel advice
The second floor hall has been restored. It has a tile floor similar to the one on the second floor but the fleur de lis... more travel advice
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