If there is a desire to see historical France, to understand how the life of kings and the highest aristocracy was arranged, to plunge into the whirlwind of palace intrigues and love stories, then it is worth taking a trip along the Loire River valley and its palaces, each of which is hidden behind its impregnable walls and graceful facades many secrets and testimonies. The Château de Chenonceau deserves a special mention: its splendor is compared to Versailles, because beautiful ladies have had a hand in construction and decoration at different times. This has imposed a special flair on Chenonceau, which hundreds of thousands of tourists who visit this place every year dream of feeling.
History and owners of the Château de Chenonceau
In 1512, the financier Thomas Boye bought a dilapidated fortress and the adjacent lands in the town of Chenonceau from the Mark family in order to make his dream come true and settle his family in a fortified house. But state affairs prevented him from spending time on construction, and his wife took over all the worries about the improvement of the house. When all the work was completed in 1521, Boye was shocked: in place of the old keep and crumbling walls, an ornate Renaissance palace with turrets arose, a real doll house. After the death of the spouses, Chenonceau confiscated the enchanted castle Francis I in favor of the crown, referring to the alleged financial violations committed during the construction. The heir of Francis Henry II decided to donate the estate to the lady of his heart, Diane de Poitiers, and from that moment began a long "ladies' period" in the history of the Château de Chenonceau.
Here are the most famous of the owners of the estate:
- Diane de Poitiers, 1551 landscaped the park and laid out gardens in which they began to grow exotic cultures for France, built a bridge across the Loire Cher tributary
- Catherine de Medici, 1559 Threw a two-story gallery in the Roman style across the river. The architectural complex of the palace is now located on two banks of the Shera, fountains, many statues and caryatids have appeared here, fireworks cannons are placed
- Louise de Lorraine Vaudemont, 1589 After the death of her husband Henry III, in the tradition of mourning, she turned the estate into a kind of tomb, inside the castle she draped everything with dark fabrics, including furniture and shades
- Louise Dupin, 1733 Made a cross between a literary salon and a theater stage from the property, gave balls. Chenonceau became fashionable among the bohemians, he was often visited by Jean-Jacques Rousseau
- Margarita Pelous, 1864 She tried to completely restore the complex, trying to undo all the transformations of her predecessors. But the wing, which lay over the waters of Cher, remained intact.
During the First World War, the gallery was equipped with a military hospital, which housed more than two thousand wounded soldiers. During the Second World War, the Chenonceau castle was used as a contact point by the partisans, and the border of the occupation lay along the Cher River: the northern part of the gallery went to the territory occupied by the Germans, and the southern part to the lands of Vichy France.
Since 1888, the Chenonceau estate has been privately owned by the eminent Meunier family, who protected and carefully preserved it in the difficult times of numerous wars and historical dramas.
Location and attractions of the Château de Chenonceau
The Château de Chenonceau estate is located in the center of France in the Loire Valley. The pearl of the ensemble is the bridge-palace in a mixed Gothic-Renaissance style. On the territory of the estate you can admire 2 parks, orchards, a yew labyrinth, walk along the drawbridge, visit old stables, galleries and museums, among which there is a house of wax figures.
It is impossible to take your eyes off the views of the estate: it is one of the favorite places of photographers who strive to capture the delightful view of the ancient castle in the reflection of the river surface.
The object belongs to castles.