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Chateau de Chenonceauxtourist information guide
Address: Château de Chenonceau, Chenonceau, 37150
Tel: +33 (0)2 47 23 90 07
Opening Times: Closed 25th Dec & 1st Jan, 1st May | Admission Charge
Chateau de Chenonceau is one of the more romantic chateaux of the Loire with elegant turrets, arches and stately avenues bordered by plane trees. It's romantic feel is further heightened by the fact that its stylised and symmetrical structure is reflected in the waters of the Cher.
Chenonceau owes much of its design and beauty to four women in particular. It was Catherine de Briconnet who first started the trend and was largely responsible for its early Renaissance style. Catherine then passed the baton to Diane de Poiters (mistress of Henri II) who was responsible for formal gardens to the left of the chateau as you approach it. Unfortunately Diane de Poitiers was forced to relinquish ownership of Chenonceau to Catherine de Medici (the embittered wife of Henri II) who offered Chateau de Chaumont in exchange. Not entirely a fair swap!
Later the castle was inherited by Louise de Lorraine, the bereaved wife of Henri III and Catherine's favourite son. Louise painted her bedroom ceiling black and white out of respect for her late husband.
Madame Dupin also had a pivotal role in the development of Chenonceau in the 18th century and was responsible for encouraging literary events to be held here. The likes of Rousseau, Voltaire and Montesquieu all spending time here.
Today Chenonceau is a profitable business owned by the Menier family who are known as respected chocolatiers.
If time was short and you had to pick one Loire chateau to visit we'd recommend Chenonceau - an elegant and fanciful chateau with a rich historical past.
Getting Here: Chenonceau is 34km east of Tours or 10km southeast of
Amboise and served by regular trains that stop in front of the chateau.