Wednesday, 4 February 2009

C is for...


(château of...)

I know it will shock you all, but for this abc-along post, I decided to go with ponies another château...  And this time it is my absolute favourite, favourite, FAVOURITE!

The history of the château is long and convoluted, but if you would like to read about it, our kind Mr Wikipedia is again on hand to help out...

The run-up to the château is through an avenue of MASSIVE trees and it doesn't take much to imagine how grandiose it must have looked like in its hey-day...  after which you emerge into the spacious gardens and  see the château for the first time.

orange trees framing the driveway

Yes, by the way, well spotted.  Those photos were indeed not taken on the same day!  I think I've visited Chenonceaux three times so far, and only one of those days did the sun decide to stay around for any length of time.

The gardens are spectacular and are named after two of the most important mistresses (in all senses of the word) of the castle:  Diane de Poitiers (who was the mistress of Henri II and received the castle from him as a gift) and Catherine de Médicis (Henri II's queen, who expelled Diane from the castle after Henri's death.)

Diane's garden

Catherine's garden

I guess Diane de Poiters won that battle...

The interior is pretty impressive, too.  Most of the rooms are open to the public, and now any Tom Dick or RedScot can wander through the bedrooms and studies of the kings and queens and erm, mistresses of France.  I think this calls for some gratuitous bedroom shots...

you were perhaps expecting something else?

After such opulence, it is almost a relief to arrive at the newer part of the château: the galleries, which were built by Catherine de Médicis upon a bridge originally commissioned by Diane de Poitiers, that once connected the castle to the other side of the river.  I guess Ms Medici won that round...  The first floor, with its black and white tiles, was used as a ballroom...

and the second floor, of which I was sure I had a photo, but alas cannot find it, has its original wooden flooring, and is now used as a, well, as an art gallery.  Just goes to show...

Other rooms to see include the wonderful kitches, Catherine's library and the chapel, but the photos I have of these are too dark to be much use here...  No flash photography allowed...  But this year when DS and I go back to visit (because it's an addictive place) I'll be using my new camera, which has all sorts of funky functions that I haven't figured out how to use yet...  I'm sure if I fiddle with it enough I'll get some more piccies to drool over!

Oh, and I have been knitting, I promise... I may even have something to show in the next few days...


Iron Needles Thursday, 5 February 2009 at 16:05:00 GMT  

I want to be there!

Great post, great pictures, and thanks for sharing.

You are living my dream, you know.

Anonymous Thursday, 5 February 2009 at 17:50:00 GMT  

Beautiful!!!! Thanks for sharing the pics!

Susan Thursday, 5 February 2009 at 18:37:00 GMT  

I think I like this one best, too. I love the parterre gardens? Is Versailles on the list?

Mary Thursday, 12 February 2009 at 14:35:00 GMT  

What a beauty! Thanks for the mini-vacation!

kasiaiscarly Friday, 13 February 2009 at 17:15:00 GMT  

Wow! How neat!

p2sso Saturday, 21 February 2009 at 14:08:00 GMT  

This is my favorite of your chateaus (is that the right plural?) It looks just the right size to me.

Library Secretary Saturday, 21 February 2009 at 22:21:00 GMT  

Yay - my favourite Chateau!! Can't wait to go back this summer. :-)

Mair Bloag Weejits

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Footerin' Aboot
Heh! I'm so funny!

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