“CC” is for Château de Chenonceau

The magnificent Château de Chenonceau is characterised by the lives of the historic and famous women who occupied, added to, landscaped and embellished it, ensuring its place in the rich tapestry of French history.

Château de Chenonceau Image: GRACIE

A jewel in its own right, the castle was gifted by King Henry II of France to Diane de Poitiers, a clever and gifted courtier who had favour with the King.  It was her passion for the castle that inspired her to develop the elegant arched bridge over the River Cher that connects the house with the opposite bank.  Sprawling gardens were laid out supported by flood preventing retaining walls, adding to the elegance of the setting.

Château de Chenonceau:   Garden of  Diane de Poitiers  Image:  GRACIE

When Henry died, his wife Catherine de’ Medici, who was fiercely jealous of Diane, forcible removed her from the castle and claimed it for herself.  Catherine added the grand and magnificent two storey gallery that extends across the entire bridge.  The 60 metre long gallery is noted for its stunning chalk and slate tiled floor.

Château de Chenonceau: Grand Gallery   Image:  GRACIE

Catherine also extended the magnificent gardens used for parties and the first French fireworks display.

Château de Chenonceau showing the extended gardens Image: GRACIE

The bedchambers of Diane de Poitiers and Catherine de Medici display an amazing array of Flemish tapestries, furniture and masterpieces of some of the better known European painters.

Château de Chenonceau:   Bedchamber of Diane de Poitiers   Image:  GRACIE


Château de Chenonceau   Bedchamber of Catherine de’Medici   Image:  GRACIE

This is truly an exceptional castle to visit not simply because of its architectural beauty, location and stunning gardens, but rather because of the rich dreams and secrets entwined in the succession of women who built and enhanced it.

Château de Chenonceau Image: GRACIE