Part 10: Chateau Chenonceau


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The Trip

We spent the night in a very nice small hotel.  The rooms were quaint, but modern with the hotel having been renovated recently.  We had a great (albeit expensive) meal at the hotel restaurant and next morning headed out for Chateau Chenonceau.

The Photos

The photos below are what we saw.

Michele and Kathleen talk about the day's agenda before we head off on foot to the chateau.  The hotel Le Bon Laboureur was very nice and the food was great.

Our room was in the area through the gate on the right.

Right next to the hotel were vineyards and "country" homes.

The entrance to the Chateau Chenonceau property was only about 200 meters away, but the driveway to the main chateau was perhaps 1 km.  There were side paths that went through the trees.  The chateau started life around 1547 with the property being a gift to his favorite lady Diane de Pointiers.  She was responsible for the construction of the buildings and grounds.

Like any great chateau, you have to have a turret with gargoyles.  This one was quite well preserved.

Inside the main building, there were interesting artifacts.  This crest belonged to one of the long line of royal owners of Chenonceau.

One of the entry areas was covered with Italian style hand painted tile laid during the initial construction of the chateau.  Only the tile around the border of the room remains.  Note the damage on this piece.

This piece was against the wall and despite being hard to get to was still damaged due to foot traffic.

The chapel had two entrances: one for the commoners on the ground floor and another on the upper floor so the royals did not have to mix with the commoners.  Or another interpretation is that they would not be in danger of assassination by the commoners.

This painting is of Catherine de Medici the second owner of the chateau.  The painting dates to about 1550.  Catherine was Henry II's widow and forced Diane from ownership of the chateau.

One of the royal bedrooms complete with replica bed.

The main hall of Chenonceau was built across the River Cher.

The River Cher as seen from Chateau Chenonceau.

Kathleen checks out the kitchen at Chenonceau.  Note the nice cleavers.

This was labeled as the "servant's quarters" but was still a reasonably nice place. 

The other side of the kitchen had big cast iron stoves and ovens.  Note the sliding door to the oven on the left of the photo above.

Every proper chateau needs paintings of naked young women.

I found this coat of arms interesting in that the symbol of the salamander breathing fire was the same symbol we saw on old cannons at the Army Museum in Paris.

Another bed chamber at the chateau.

An intricate wooden carving on one of the walls at the chateau.

This scene is on a porcelain platter.  It depicts a party at Chenonceau.

One of the gardens at the chateau as seen from the portion of the building that spans the River Cher.

The gardens were large and very well kept.  Most of the photos of the garden did not make it into this web page.

An outside view of part of Chenonceau.

A small part of one of the gardens and the initial tower at Chenonceau.

This is the main portion of Chenonceau that spans the River Cher.  The main living quarters and the chapel are on the left and the great hall spans the river.

To make Chenonceau self-sufficient it needed a significant farm.  This structure was part of that farm.

Every respectable chateau has to have a wine production facility and this is the grape press.

An older Bentley that was a recent addition to the chateau.

The gardens had many types of flowers and food stuffs.  This is a sunflower.

Some of the plants in the garden were not edible, but were there for color only.

This is a turban squash.

This is some kind of odd gourd.

We had lunch at the restaurant at the chateau.  Lunch was a multi-course meal that had chateau-grown vegetables and an excellent presentation.  Note the odd kind of cauliflower (green) as well as the pork cheek with brown sauce.  It was as good as it looked.

Jim took our photo after we finished eating.

A parting shot of Chenonceau with both the tower and the main chateau in the photo.

From Chenonceau we headed back toward our hotel.  Along the way we passed the local church so we decided to check it out.

The stained glass inside the church was pretty good but not of the same caliber as Le Mans.

Chenonceau was another test of our senses.  It was clear from viewing such structures why the French Revolution was inspired and why it succeeded. 

Tomorrow we visit the chateau at Villandry.

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