Stretching romantically throughout the Cher River, this French Renaissance château was the residence of queens and royal mistresses, together with Catherine de’ Medici and Diane de Poitiers. Remodeled over the centuries from a modest manor and water mill right into a fortress designed solely for pleasure, it’s surrounded by elegant formal gardens and wooded grounds. The inside rooms have been restored to their authentic style, and a small waxwork museum illustrates the construction’s historical past. The location additionally features a stable with a miniature train ride down the beautiful tree-lined drive, and several other restaurants.
Being the mistress of Henri II, Diane de Poitiers needed a surrounding fit for a king and set about creating her grand, formal gardens alongside the banks of the Cher River. Divided into 4 triangles and protected against flooding by elevated stone terraces, they have been planted with an in depth number of flowers, greens, and fruit trees. When Catherine de’ Medici arrived at Chenonceau, she created her personal garden. In the present day, more than 4,000 flowers are planted within the gardens annually.
THE CREATION OF CHENONCEAU
Catherine Briçonnet, spouse of the royal chamberlain, was the first of many ladies who added her female touches to Chenonceau. Throughout his reign, King Henri gave the fort to his mistress, Diane de Poitiers, who went on to dramatically remodel it. She redecorated its interiors, constructed a bridge over the Cher River and constructed a formal garden. When the king died, his spouse, Catherine de’ Medici, reclaimed the chateau from Diane and set about erasing her presence. She redesigned the castle and constructed the Grande Galerie on the bridge above the Cher.
The elegant Grande Galerie, designed by Catherine de’ Medici to hold her festivities, dominates Chenonceau. Lit by 18 windows stretching from an uncovered-joists ceiling, its enamelled tiled ground leads into royal bedrooms, together with Diane de Poitiers’, coated in Flemish tapestries. The small tiles within the first floor corridor are stamped with fleur de lys crossed by a dagger. Marble medallions brought from Italy by Catherine de’ Medici dangle above the doorways, together with those of her bed room, which is filled with sixteenth-century furnishings and tapestries depicting biblical scenes.