Exploring the Loire Valley: Chateau de Chenonceau

23 Jun

Entrance to the Chenonceau with my dad

Our first day trip was to Chateau de Chenonceau, the Ladies Chateau. This château is considered by many to be the loveliest of all of the chateaus and I’d have to agree. It’s surrounded by formal gardens and wooded grounds and visitors are free to roam freely throughout the rooms of the castle.

Here’s a little history of the place, in case you’re interested. As Eyewitness Travel’s Loire Valley states:

“Chenonceau reflects the combined influence of five women, who brought a feminine touch to this grateful building. First came Catherine Briconnet, wife of the royal chamberlain, who supervised construction of the château. Later, Diane de Poitiers, Henri II’s mistress, created a formal garden and built a bridge over the Cher. After Henri’s death, his widow, Catherine de Medici, reclaimed the château and topped the bridge with a gallery. Chenonceau survived the 1789 Revolution–because of local respect for Louise Dupin, wife of a tax collector–to be restored by Madame Pelouze in the 19th century.”

To the right of the château is the Marques Tower (part of the original remaining fortified castle and mill belonging to the Marques family).

The formal gardens

In the kitchen

The château sits above the Cher River

In the gallery

My highlight to the château was the kitchen. I only have one picture of the pans (I must have been overwhelmed), but the kitchen is made up of two areas, located in two enormous bases forming two piers in the bed of the River Cher. The kitchen equipment, including ovens, pans, knives, bread baking equipment, etc., do a nice job giving the viewer an idea of what a working kitchen would have looked like.

On the day we visited it was freezing, which is really a shame because had it been a nice day out, we would have spent much more time exploring the formal garden, the vegetable and flower garden, and the 16th century farm. There’s also a lovely cafe that served lunch, pastries, coffee and wine. Perhaps next time…

9 Responses to “Exploring the Loire Valley: Chateau de Chenonceau”

  1. The Vagabond Baker June 23, 2012 at 12:33 pm #

    How spooky, a friend of mine posted pictures on Facebook of this very Chateau last week! I love exploring kitchen in old houses and castles :)

  2. Julia Fairchild June 23, 2012 at 1:30 pm #

    Beautiful!

  3. Patty Grimm June 23, 2012 at 1:40 pm #

    Nice picture of you and your dad. Looks like a wonderful vacation!

  4. thefamilyfeed June 23, 2012 at 1:48 pm #

    Such an amazing place! Both my son and I have been there years ago and it’s indescribablly cool. Thanks for the great photos. Have fun!

  5. joe palumbo June 23, 2012 at 2:25 pm #

    Wonderful pictures of a fantastic chateau…It is rated as the best or most beautiful chateau and it lived up to everything they said about it.. It was one of my favorite places in France. Thanks for the posting.. Dad

  6. NTP June 23, 2012 at 3:42 pm #

    Dad, you are looking good! It does look chilly out. Was there a gift shop and what did they have?

  7. Liz June 23, 2012 at 7:11 pm #

    What a lovely vacation! The kitchen shot especially intrigued me. Did they climb ladders to get the (gorgeous) copper pots down from the high spots? Or was that just decor? You are living the life! Thanks for stopping by foodforfun again. You have a beautiful blog.

  8. soupsrootsrants June 24, 2012 at 2:29 am #

    I loved when I went to Chenonceau! It is a gorgeous chateau! If you want to see beautiful gardens, I highly recommend Villandry! Enjoy your travels! – Mimi

  9. twintoefarm August 16, 2012 at 11:18 pm #

    Love the kitchen pic with all the hanging pots. Looks so spacious and beautiful.

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