Chateau de ChenonceauJune 18 in France
This portion of France is littered with Chateaus that we would might usually mistake as castles. Maybe it's just semantics, but these are places where kings would spend the summer or celebrate special events. Often times this is also where their royal extended family would live. The next one we visited was Chenonceau.
It's design was different but just as impressive as Amboise, if not more. It is located away from the city in a heavily wooded area on the river Cher. Any other day, I would be itching to hike or canoe. The weather was beautiful. Who am I kidding I was itching to do so, but alas.
The gravel drive leading up to the chateau was long and tree lined, which framed the building nicely as we approached.
But first, was a sign for a maze that the kids and I couldn't resist to try. We each grabbed an entrance and began our way to the center. It wasn't nearly as difficult as I had hoped, but once we made it, we took the time to take more pictures. It didn't help that the hedges were four feet tall.
We had lunch on the grounds before the tour. The cafeteria was housed in what once was the carriage house and stables.
The Chateaus bedrooms were furnished in period furniture and pictures of those that inhabited there. The kitchen's in the lower level had large fireplaces where the food was cooked and one room had a more recent, yet still old, massive wood burning stove. That part of the building was over the Cher river. There was a rope system devised to haul water and supplies from the river below via the window. A more updated system had a hole in the ground for the same purpose and a pump for water.
The portion of this chateau that I liked the most is the gallery, and not the inside, but the outside. The view of the river running underneath it is beautful. It was built in 1577 upon an existing bridge that crossed the river on the backside. A hospital was set up here, and in much of the Chateau, during WWI by the owner, a politician and owner of a Chocolate factory. The Cher river was the dividing line of occupied and free France. The front door was occupied and the back side was free. That enabled the resistance to pass people to freedom. It's a miracle it was never bombed.
The story of one of bed room is interesting. The widow of King Henri III, who was assassinated by a monk in 1589, had her room painted black with symbols of death and sorrow painted throughout. It was too dark in there to see much and was under some minor repair.Read more