Château de Chenonceau in the Loire Valley (France) - castle of six ladies
Location show on map
Place de la Mairie, 37150 Chenonceaux, France
Date of build
1514 - 1522
Chenonceau Castle - a fortress on the River Cher in the French town of Chenonceaux. The building is referred to as Dam Castle - the owners who were systematically beautifying and expanding the building were mainly women.
The history of the castle began in the 13th century with the noble Marques family - the owners of the first stronghold and mill. The court was burned down in 1411 as a punishment for the Marque family for political crimes, and then rebuilt.
In 1513, Thomas Bohier of Katherine Briçonnet purchased the property. It was decided to demolish the fortress (only one round tower remained), and in the place of the mill to build a building with four corner towers.
From 1535, the building was managed by King Francis I and allocated it to a hunting castle. After the accession of the son of Franciszek (Henry II), the stronghold was handed over to Diana de Poitiers. The new owner created a garden with a fountain and a park maze. She commissioned the construction of a bridge connecting the banks of the River Cher.
After the death of Henry II, the castle was received by Queen Katarzyna Medycejska. She organized numerous balls, games and banquets in the stronghold. She embellished the garden and ordered the construction of a two-story gallery on the bridge. Katarzyna Medycejska wrote the castle in the will of Ludwica Lorraine, who gave it to her niece as a wedding present. For over 100 years, the stronghold has not been modernized or maintained.
At the beginning of the 18th century Claude Dupin became the owner of the castle, and his wife Louise brought the building to its former glory. The most important people of the era were received at the castle. The stronghold survived the French revolution.
In 1863, the property was bought by Marguerite Pelouze. With the help of architect Felix Roguet, the former appearance of the castle facade was restored, the changes ordered by Katarzyna Medycejska were removed. By debt Marguerite had to give the property back to the bank.
In 1913, the castle was bought by Henri Menier and is still the property of his descendants who made the stronghold available for visiting.
During the First World War, Chenonceau Castle was used as a hospital.
For most of World War II, the castle remained unaffected by the terrible flood that destroyed the gardens and surroundings of the castle.
In 1951, the Menier family entrusted the castle restaurant to Bernard Voisin, who restored the ruined structure and gardens to its former glory.
Chenonceau Castle has a very rich collection of Renaissance furniture, a large collection of tapestries from the 16th and 17th centuries and a large number of masterpieces by artists such as Le Primatice, Rubens, Le Tintoret, Rigaud and Nattier.
The entrance hall is covered with a series of rib vaults, whose separated jumpers form a dashed line. The baskets are decorated with leaves, roses, angels, chimera and cornucopia. Made in 1515, the hall is one of the most beautiful examples of decorative carving from the French Renaissance period.
In addition to the magnificent chapel saved during the French Revolution, the 60-meter-long gallery deserves attention. This magnificent ballroom is 6 meters wide and is illuminated by 18 windows, it is covered with sand chalk tiles and a slate floor.
The Marques Tower is one of the things to see. It was built outside by the Marques family to depict the ownership of the castle. The well is decorated with eagle and chimera, which are insignia of the Marques clan. The entrance to the castle shows all the coats of arms of the first royal owners of this place.
The castle also has a huge library and several large rooms that can accommodate hundreds of guests. The beautiful garden serves as the last attraction after leaving the castle, in front of which is a conservatory with a tea room.
Château de Chenonceau is one of the many castles in the Loire Valley that boasts amazing architecture and historical significance attracting thousands of tourists from around the world. This makes it the second most-visited castle in France (only the Palace of Versailles surpasses it), which is visited by approximately 1.3 million tourists every year.
Official website: http://www.chenonceau.com/