Theme Week Chateaux of the Loire Valley – Château de Chenonceau

Tuesday, 20 January 2015 - 06:45 am (CET/MEZ) Berlin | Author/Destination:
Category/Kategorie: General, Architecture, Palaces, Castles, Manors, Parks, UNESCO World Heritage
Reading Time:  5 minutes

Aerial view © Lieven Smits

Aerial view © Lieven Smits

The Château de Chenonceau is a manor house near the small village of Chenonceaux, in the Indre-et-Loire département of the Loire Valley in France. It was built on the site of an old mill on the River Cher, sometime before its first mention in writing in the 11th century. The current manor was designed by the French Renaissance architect Philibert Delorme.

The original second edition manor was torched in 1411 to punish owner Jean Marques for an act of sedition. He rebuilt a castle and fortified mill on the site in the 1430s. Subsequently, his indebted heir Pierre Marques sold the castle to Thomas Bohier, Chamberlain for King Charles VIII of France in 1513. Bohier destroyed the existing castle and built an entirely new residence between 1515 and 1521; the work was sometimes overseen by his wife Katherine Briçonnet, who delighted in hosting French nobility, including King Francis I on two occasions.

Diane de Poitiers was the unquestioned mistress of the castle, but ownership remained with the crown until 1555, when years of delicate legal maneuvers finally yielded possession to her. However, after King Henry II died in 1559, his strong-willed widow and regent Catherine de’ Medici had Diane expelled. Because the estate no longer belonged to the crown, she could not seize it outright, but forced Diane to exchange it for the Château Chaumont. Queen Catherine then made Chenonceau her own favorite residence, adding a new series of gardens.

As Regent of France, Catherine would spend a fortune on the château and on spectacular nighttime parties. In 1560, the first ever fireworks display seen in France took place during the celebrations marking the ascension to the throne of Catherine’s son Francis II. The grand gallery, which extended along the existing bridge to cross the entire river, was dedicated in 1577.

View from Catherine de Medici's garden © Tim Sackton Diane de Poitiers' garden © Welleschik Maze Garden, aerial view © Lieven Smits Gallery on the ground floor © McPig Farm buildings © Peter Dutton Chancellerie © Vadim Kurland © Jonathan Zornow seen from formal gardens © Ozeye © Ra-smit Caspian blue West facade over Cher river © 98octane Catherine de Medici's gardens © LonganimE Aerial view © Lieven Smits
<
>
View from Catherine de Medici's garden © Tim Sackton
On Catherine’s death in 1589 the château went to her daughter-in-law, Louise de Lorraine-Vaudémont, wife of King Henry III. At Chenonceau Louise was told of her husband’s assassination and she fell into a state of depression, spending the remainder of her days wandering aimlessly along the château’s vast corridors dressed in mourning clothes amidst somber black tapestries stitched with skulls and crossbones.

Another mistress took over in 1624, when Gabrielle d’Estrées, the favourite of King Henry IV, inhabited the castle. After that, it was owned by Louise’s heir César of Vendôme and his wife, Françoise of Lorraine, Duchess of Vendôme, and passed quietly down the Valois line of inheritance, alternately inhabited and abandoned for more than a hundred years.

Château de Chenonceau was bought by the Duke of Bourbon in 1720. Little by little, he sold off all of the castle’s contents. Many of the fine statues ended up at Versailles. The estate itself was finally sold to a squire named Claude Dupin.

In 1951, the Menier family entrusted the château’s restoration to Bernard Voisin, who brought the dilapidated structure and the gardens (ravaged in the Cher River flood in 1940) back to a reflection of its former glory. An architectural mixture of late Gothic and early Renaissance, Château de Chenonceau and its gardens are open to the public. Other than the Royal Palace of Versailles, Chenonceau is the most visited château in France. The château is classified as a Monument historique since 1840 by the French Ministry of Culture.

Here you can find the complete Overview of all Theme Weeks.

Read more on Château de Chenonceau and Wikipedia Château de Chenonceau. Learn more about the use of photos. To inform you about latest news most of the city, town or tourism websites offer a newsletter service and/or operate Facebook pages/Twitter accounts. In addition more and more destinations, tourist organisations and cultural institutions offer Apps for your Smart Phone or Tablet, to provide you with a mobile tourist guide (Smart Traveler App by U.S. Department of State - Weather report by weather.com - Global Passport Power Rank - Travel Risk Map - Democracy Index - GDP according to IMF, UN, and World Bank - Global Competitiveness Report - Corruption Perceptions Index - Press Freedom Index - World Justice Project - Rule of Law Index - UN Human Development Index - Global Peace Index - Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Index). If you have a suggestion, critique, review or comment to this blog entry, we are looking forward to receive your e-mail at comment@wingsch.net. Please name the headline of the blog post to which your e-mail refers to in the subject line.




Recommended posts:

Share this post: (Please note data protection regulations before using buttons)

The Hamptons on Long Island

The Hamptons on Long Island

[caption id="attachment_4277" align="aligncenter" width="590" caption="Southampton - National Golf Links of America clubhouse © Americasroof"][/caption][responsivevoice_button voice="UK English Female" buttontext="Listen to this Post"]The Hamptons may refer to several villages and hamlets in the towns of Southampton and East Hampton on the far east end of Suffolk County on Long Island, New York. These townships occupy the South Fork of Long Island, stretching into the Atlantic Ocean. The Hamptons form a popular seaside resort, one of the historical Summer Colonies of the American Northeast. T...

[ read more ]

Les Invalides in Paris

Les Invalides in Paris

[caption id="attachment_171589" align="aligncenter" width="590"] Hôtel des Invalides, as seen from the Tour Montparnasse © Jens Peter Clausen/cc-by-sa-3.0[/caption][responsivevoice_button voice="UK English Female" buttontext="Listen to this Post"]Les Invalides, commonly known as Hôtel national des Invalides (The National Residence of the Invalids), or also as Hôtel des Invalides, is a complex of buildings in the 7th arrondissement of Paris, containing museums and monuments, all relating to the military history of France, as well as a hospital and a retirement home for war veterans, the bui...

[ read more ]

Theme Week Madrid - The Cuatro Torres Business Area

Theme Week Madrid - The Cuatro Torres Business Area

[caption id="attachment_153898" align="aligncenter" width="590"] © Archivaldo/cc-by-3.0[/caption] [responsivevoice_button voice="UK English Female" buttontext="Listen to this Post"]Cuatro Torres Business Area (CTBA) (Spanish for Four Towers Business Area) is a business district located in the Paseo de la Castellana in Madrid, on the former Ciudad Deportiva of Real Madrid. The area contains the tallest skyscrapers in Madrid and Spain. The construction of the buildings finished in 2008. The complex was formerly known as Madrid Arena. Designed by Henry N. Cobb and built by Obrascón Huarte Lain...

[ read more ]

Brownsville in New York City

Brownsville in New York City

[caption id="attachment_220178" align="aligncenter" width="590"] Zion Triangle Park © Jim.henderson[/caption][responsivevoice_button voice="UK English Female" buttontext="Listen to this Post"]Brownsville is a residential neighborhood located in eastern Brooklyn in New York City. The neighborhood is generally bordered by Crown Heights to the northwest; Bedford–Stuyvesant and Cypress Hills to the north; East New York to the east; Canarsie to the south; and East Flatbush to the west. The 1.163-square-mile (3.01 km²) area that comprises Brownsville has 58,300 residents as of the 2010 United St...

[ read more ]

Portrait: Barack Obama, 44th President of the United States of America

Portrait: Barack Obama, 44th President of the United States of America

[caption id="attachment_183135" align="aligncenter" width="590"] US President Barack Obama taking his Oath of Office © defenseimagery.mil - Master Sgt. Cecilio Ricardo[/caption][responsivevoice_button voice="UK English Female" buttontext="Listen to this Post"]Barack Hussein Obama II is an American politician who served as the 44th President of the United States from January 20, 2009 to January 20, 2017. The first African American to assume the presidency, he was previously the junior United States Senator from Illinois from 2005 to 2008. Before that, he served in the Illinois State Senate fro...

[ read more ]

Montauk on Long Island

Montauk on Long Island

[caption id="attachment_150983" align="aligncenter" width="590"] Montauk Lighthouse National Historic Site © Anthony Montemurro/cc-by-sa-3.0[/caption][responsivevoice_button voice="UK English Female" buttontext="Listen to this Post"]Montauk is a census-designated place (CDP) that roughly corresponds to the hamlet with the same name located in the town of East Hampton in Suffolk County, New York, on the eastern end of the South Shore of Long Island. The population is at 3,300. Montauk is a major tourist destination and has six state parks. It is particularly famous for its fishing, claiming to...

[ read more ]

Academy of Arts in Berlin

Academy of Arts in Berlin

[caption id="attachment_165477" align="aligncenter" width="590"] © De-okin/cc-by-sa-3.0[/caption][responsivevoice_button voice="UK English Female" buttontext="Listen to this Post"]The Academy of Arts (German: Akademie der Künste) is a state arts institution in Berlin. The task of the Academy is to promote art, as well as to advise and support the states of Germany. The Academy's predecessor organization was founded in 1696 by Elector Frederick III of Brandenburg as the Prussian Academy of Arts, an academic institution in which members could meet and discuss and share ideas. The current Acade...

[ read more ]

The Dubai Mall

The Dubai Mall

[caption id="attachment_6950" align="aligncenter" width="590"] Dubai Mall seen from Burj Khalifa © Intelpower[/caption][responsivevoice_button voice="UK English Female" buttontext="Listen to this Post"]The Dubai Mall is the world's largest shopping mall based on total area and sixth largest by gross leasable area. Located in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, it is part of the 20-billion-dollar Burj Khalifa complex, and includes 1,200 shops. Access to the mall is provided via Doha Street, rebuilt as a double-decker road in April 2009. Twice delayed, Dubai Mall opened on 4 November 2008, wit...

[ read more ]

Krka National Park in Croatia

Krka National Park in Croatia

[caption id="attachment_185627" align="aligncenter" width="590"] © John Maxwell[/caption][responsivevoice_button voice="UK English Female" buttontext="Listen to this Post"]Krka National Park is one of the Croatian national parks, named after the river Krka that it encloses. It is located along the middle-lower course of the Krka River in central Dalmatia, in Šibenik-Knin county, downstream Miljevci area, and just a few kilometers northeast of the city of Šibenik. It was formed to protect the Krka River and is intended primarily for scientific, cultural, educational, recreational, and touris...

[ read more ]

The Lake Como

The Lake Como

[caption id="attachment_154242" align="aligncenter" width="590"] Villa d'Este © GhePeU[/caption][responsivevoice_button voice="UK English Female" buttontext="Listen to this Post"]Lake Como (Lago di Como in Italian) is a lake of glacial origin in Lombardy, Italy. It has an area of 146 km², making it the third largest lake in Italy, after Lake Garda and Lake Maggiore. At over 400 m (1320 ft) deep it is one of the deepest lakes in Europe and the bottom of the lake is more than 200 metres (656 ft) below sea-level. Lake Como has been a popular retreat for aristocrats and wealthy people since Roma...

[ read more ]

Return to TopReturn to Top
© Quórum Comunicaciones/cc-by-sa-3.0
San Alfonso del Mar, the largest pool in the world

San Alfonso del Mar is a private resort in Algarrobo in Chile, about 100 km (62 mi) west of the...

© flickr.com - Stuart Yeates
Balmoral Castle in Scotland

Balmoral Castle /bælˈmɒrəl/ is a large estate house in Royal Deeside, Aberdeenshire, Scotland. It is located near the village of...

Midtown and Lower Manhattan © flickr.com - Eneas De Troya/cc-by-2.0
Theme Week New York City – Manhattan on Hudson River

Manhattan is the most densely populated of the five boroughs of New York City. The borough is coterminous with New...

Close