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Château De Chenonceau

Built on the Cher river, Chenonceau is a ‘bridge-castle’ with its five arches. It’s our favorite with somes of my friends in this Best Chateaux (Castles) Of The Loire Valley guide . The refined architecture of this site is unique and we like the reflection of its graceful arches on the Cher river.

Chateau De Chenonceau
Chateau De Chenonceau

Chenonceau is also nicknamed the Chateau des Dames, given the number of ladies who built, fitted out and transformed it : Diane de Poitiers, Catherine de Médicis, Louise de Lorraine, Louise Dupin, madame Pelouze.

Important : In june 2022 as we writing, the reservation is mandatory.

The castle Of Chenonceau - View from the garden of Catherine De Medicis
The castle Of Chenonceau – View from the garden of Catherine De Medicis
Chateau de Chenonceau in winter - France
Château de Chenonceau in winter – Cher Valley – France
Gargoyle - château de Chenonceau
Gargoyle – Château de Chenonceau
La tour des Marques - The old keep - Le vieux donjon - Chateau de Chenonceau
La tour des Marques – The old keep – Le vieux donjon – Chateau de Chenonceau

In my bucket list : go down the Cher on a canoe and pass by boat under the arches of the castle. Indeed it is possible to rent a canoe and go down the Cher languid river.

Approach to the entrance - Chateau De Chenonceau
Approach to the entrance – Chateau De Chenonceau
The Chapel - Chateau De Chenonceau
The Chapel – Chateau De Chenonceau

Bedroom of Diane de Poitiers

Diane de Poitiers’ bedroom features a 19th century portrait of Catherine de Medicis by Sauvage as well as a 17th century blue four-poster bed.

Behind the four-poster bed, on the walls are two sixteenth-century Flanders tapestries, The Triumph of Strength, mounted on a chariot drawn by two lions, and surrounded by scenes from the Old Testament. In the upper border, the Latin phrase translates as “ He who loves the gifts of heaven with all his heart will not shrink from deeds that Piety dictates”;

Bedroom of Diane de Poitiers
Bedroom of Diane de Poitiers

the other tapestry is The Triumph of Charity, which, on a chariot, holds a heart in its hands and shows the Sun, surrounded by biblical episodes; the Latin sentence reads as:  » He who shows strength of heart when in danger will receive Salvation as his reward at his time of death « .

Fireplace with the portrait of Catherine de Medicis by Sauvage - Chenonceau
Fireplace with the portrait of Catherine de Medicis by Sauvage – Chenonceau

Salon Louis XIV

portrait Louis XIV - Chenonceau
portrait Louis XIV – Chenonceau

The Renaissance style fireplace is decorated with the Salamander and the Ermine, in reference to King François I and Claude of France. Additionnally the cornice surrounding the exposed joist ceiling bears Bohier’s initials.

fireplace Louis XIV - Chenonceau
fireplace Louis XIV – Chenonceau

Library

With a view overlooking the Cher, this former small library of Catherine de Medicis has an oak ceiling dating from 1525, in the Italian style, compartmentalized with beautiful wooden boxes.

wood ceiling of the Library - Chateau  De Chenonceau
wood ceiling of the Library – Chateau De Chenonceau
The Gallery - Chateau De Chenonceau
The Gallery – Chateau De Chenonceau

The Kitchens

The kitchens - Chenonceau
view of The kitchens – Chenonceau

The kitchens are installed in the basement which is accessed by a staircase located between the gallery and « the room of François Ier ». They consist of several rooms.

Gardens

Garden of Catherine De Medicis - Chateau De Chenonceau
Garden of Catherine De Medicis – Chateau De Chenonceau
Caryatids - Chateau De Chenonceau
Caryatids – Chateau De Chenonceau
sphynx - Chateau De Chenonceau
sphynx – Chateau De Chenonceau

Château De Chambord

Chateau de Chambord in winter - France
Château de Chambord in winter – Loire Valley – France

A must of magnificence, the château de chambord was originally designed as a hunting lodge for Francois 1er, the king of France.

The Castle Of Chambord
The Castle Of Chambord

Château Royal d’Amboise

Chateau Royal d'Amboise
Chateau Royal d’Amboise
view of Château Royal d'Amboise from the river Loire in Autumn
view of Château Royal d’Amboise from the river Loire in Autumn
Château Royal d'Amboise
Château Royal d’Amboise
medieval armor - chateau royal d'amboise
medieval armor – chateau royal d’Amboise
The chapel of Saint Hubert - Chapelle Saint-Hubert - Château d'Amboise
chapel of Saint Hubert – Château d’Amboise
The hunting of Saint Hubert - Details of the lintel of the facade - Saint-Hubert chapel
The hunting of Saint Hubert – Details of the lintel of the facade – Saint-Hubert chapel
Council chamber - Salle du conseil - Chateau d'Amboise
Council chamber – Chateau d’Amboise
fireplace - Council chamber - Château Royal d'Amboise
fireplace – Council chamber – Château Royal d’Amboise
sculpture - Chateau d'Amboise
sculpture – Chateau d’Amboise
King Henri II's Chamber  - Chateau Royal d'Amboise
King Henri II’s Chamber – Chateau Royal d’Amboise
Music room - Chateau Royal d'Amboise
Music room – Chateau Royal d’Amboise
Aubusson tapestry - Echanson room - Chateau Amboise
Aubusson tapestry – Echanson room – Chateau Amboise
Aubusson tapestry - Echanson room - Chateau Amboise
Echanson room – Aubusson tapestry – Chateau Amboise
Boat bed - Louis Philippe cabinet - Chateau Royal d'Amboise
Boat bed – Louis Philippe cabinet – Chateau Royal d’Amboise

Chateau de Langeais

Built on a promontory created by the small valley of the Roumer River at the opening to the Loire valley, the castle of Langeais was built from 1465 by the king of France Louis XI.

This castle is a personal favorite by its medieval aspect, its drawbridge but also by its superb collection of tapestries.

castle of Langeais - chateau de Langeais  - France
castle of Langeais – chateau de Langeais – France

Drawbridge

I can’t hide my excitement and the joy I felt crossing that drawbridge. Indeed, when I was 10 years old, I owned a small medieval castle with a drawbridge, I can’t count the number of fierce battles I fought with my little soldiers in medieval armor!!! The castle of Langeais is one of the few castles to keep a drawbridge of this type.

donjon / drawbridge - castle of langeais / chateau de Langeais
drawbridge – castle of langeais

tapestries

As an illustration, the following tapestry demonstrates the presence of astrology.

Aurora - Astrology tapestry - Chateau de Langeais
Aurora – Astrology tapestry – Chateau de Langeais
bird - tapestry detail - Chateau de Langeais
bird – tapestry detail – chateau de langeais

The tapestries were not only decorative, they were also useful in isolating cold stone, protecting from drafts.

tapestry "The wild queen emerging from the wood" - Chateau de Langeais
tapestry « The wild queen emerging from the wood » – Chateau de Langeais

In the children’s room, you will discover beautiful tapestries, such as this « Verdure aux aristoloches » from the 16th century, woven in Flanders.

Grande verdure aux aristoloches, Great greenery with aristolochia - - chateau de Langeais
Great greenery with aristolochia tapestry – chateau de Langeais – Flanders/Flanders 16eme siecle , 16th century
tapestry details - Chateau De Langeais
tapestry details – Chateau De Langeais

The following details is a magnificent tapestry with many characters around vines, fruit trees and flowers. Several scenes (outdoor lunch, scenes of picking, hunting, etc.) enrich the decor (Flanders, late 15th – 16th centuries).

tapestry details tapestry with many characters around vines, fruit trees and flowers - Chateau De Langeais
tapestry with many characters around vines, fruit trees and flowers – Chateau De Langeais

reliquary

Inside the sacred art cabinet, the oldest work in the castle : a 13th century reliquary shrine in gilded wood, decorated with the Wise Virgins, the Foolish Virgins and the Apostles.

chasse reliquaire - chateau de Langeais
chasse reliquaire – chateau de Langeais

King wedding

One of the biggest events of the chateau is the wedding of Charles VIII of France and Anne of Brittany took place, at dawn on December 6, 1491. At this time, the young Duchess was then only 14 years old and her marriage marked the end of the independence of the Duchy of Brittany and started its incorporation into the French kingdom . In the castle, the room VIII or wedding room presents the marriage.

king wedding - Chateau De Langeais
king wedding – Chateau De Langeais

Garden and the old keep

The current castle has replaced an old fortified castle built at the end of the 10th century by the Count of Anjou Foulques Nerra. Charles VII , the king of France, ordered to destroy the old castle, except the keep. That old keep, moreover, is one of the oldest in stone still standing today.

the old keep - castle of Langeais - chateau de Langeais  - France
the old keep – castle of Langeais – chateau de Langeais – France
Castle of Langeais - Chateau de Langeais  - France
view from garden – Castle of Langeais – chateau de Langeais – France
castle of Langeais - chateau de Langeais  - France
castle of Langeais – chateau de Langeais – France

Chateau de Villandry

Famous for its renaissance gardens, the chateau De Villandry invites you to stroll among them or to contemplate them from the terraces or from the keep.

The Château de Villandry is the last of the great Loire Valley châteaux to be built during the Renaissance.

Chateau de Villandry - Loire Valley
Chateau de Villandry – Loire Valley

In the above image, the old keep on the right is from the medieval castle.

Jean Breton, the King’s Secretary of Finance, transformed the medieval fortress of Colombiers (the old city name) into an elegant château of the Renaissance starting from 1532 , by integrating the old keep into the renaissance style building.

The Chamber of Prince Jérôme Bonaparte - Chateau de Villandry
The Chamber of Prince Jérôme Bonaparte – Chateau de Villandry
The potager room - Chateau De Villandry
potager room – Chateau De Villandry
flower details - potager room - Villandry
flower details – potager room – Villandry
the coronation of the virgin - Chateau de Villandry
coronation of the virgin – Primitive Aragon school – 15th century – Chateau de Villandry
The mystic marriage of Christ and The Church  - Villandry
The mystic marriage of Christ and The Church –
Giovanni Francesco Bezzi (1530-1571) known as Nosadella – Villandry
Mudejar ceiling of the Palace of the Dukes of Maqueda (Toledo, 13th century)
Mudejar ceiling of the Palace of the Dukes of Maqueda (Toledo, 13th century)
ornamental garden  - Chateau de Villandry - Loire Valley
ornamental garden – Chateau de Villandry – Loire Valley
garden - Chateau De Villandry
garden – Chateau De Villandry
garden - Chateau De Villandry
Labyrinth shape – garden – Chateau De Villandry
Le pavillon de l’audience – Chateau de Villandry

In the south of the park The Audience is a small neoclassical pavilion covered with a slate roof. It was built in the 18th century by the Marquis de Castellane. In this building, the marquis « gave audience » to the farmers and peasants who worked on his land.
This type of construction, a « factory », is one of the components of French gardens in the 18th century

The orangerie - Chateau de Villandry
The orangerie – Chateau de Villandry
Chateau de Villandry - Loire Valley
Details – Chateau de Villandry – Loire Valley
Chateau de Villandry - Loire Valley
Chateau de Villandry – Loire Valley

 

Château Du Clos Lucé

The rooms of the castle devoted to the many inventions and genius of Leonardo Da Vinci are amazing, from the first car to the swing bridge, passing by the tank and the machine gun and the ancestor of the helicopter, do not miss their visits!!
The visit of the raised park is very pleasant. Many models representing Leonardo Da Vinci's inventions have been reconstructed in the park, surrounded by magnificent trees.

Château De Cheverny

Chateau De Cheverny
Chateau De Cheverny

Salle à manger

The dining room - La salle a manger - Cheverny
The dining room – La salle a manger – Cheverny
chambre d'enfant - Chateau De Cheverny
chambre d’enfant – Chateau De Cheverny
the family dining room - Chateau De Cheverny
the family dining room – Chateau De Cheverny
the library and the harpsichord - Castle Of Cheverny
library and the harpsichord – Castle Of Cheverny
the grand salon and the harp - Chateau De Cheverny
the grand salon and the harp – Chateau De Cheverny
the weapons room - Chateau De Cheverny
weapons room – Chateau De Cheverny
Chateau De Cheverny
Chateau De Cheverny

Château De Beauregard

Chateau De Beauregard
Chateau De Beauregard
The Gallery of Illustrious - Chateau De Beauregard
The Gallery of Illustrious – Chateau De Beauregard
Octogonal wood Ceiling - The Cabinet of Bells - Beauregard
Octogonal wood Ceiling – The Cabinet of Bells – Beauregard
garden - Chateau de Beauregard
garden – Chateau de Beauregard
Icehouse - La glaciere - Chateau De Beauregard - Loire Valley
Icehouse – La glaciere – Chateau De Beauregard – Loire Valley

On the way to Santiago de Compostela , the chapel in ruins was built in the 14th century.

Beauregard Chapel
Beauregard Chapel

This coat of arms shows, engraved in stone, the shell of the pilgrims of Santiago de Compostela and the motto of the Crusader knights « God want this » / Dieu le volt.

coat of arms pilgrims - chapel Chateau de Beauregard
coat of arms pilgrims – chapel Chateau de Beauregard
Chateau de Beauregard
Chateau de Beauregard

Going more far

Reference Best Chateaux (Castles) Of The Loire Valley

Official site Chateau de Langeais

Chateau De Chenonceau website

Castle Of Villandry website

wiki Chateau de Villandry

Chateau De Beauregard website

FAQ Best Chateaux (Castles) Of The Loire Valley

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