Castle of the Loire Valley: CHENONCEAU
Through the very location and conception of the Chenonceau castle emerges a feminine influence that makes it so peculiar. It was built between 1512 and 1521 by Catherine Briçonnet, Thomas Bohier’s wife. In 1547, Henri 2nd offered Chenonceau to his favourite, Diane de Poitiers. She tastefully decided the building of the bridge that steps over the Cher river. When Henri 2nd died, Catherine of Medicis took her revenge by forcing Diane to dispose of Chenonceau in exchange of Chaumont. She arranged the design of the surrounding park and of the double-floored gallery upon the bridge. She put on lavish entertainments that used to marvel her contemporary.
The ladies Chateau today belongs to the family Menier.
Castle of the Loire Valley: PAGODE DE CHANTELOUP
The Pagode is the only remaining vestige of the sumptuous castle. It stands at the edge of the forest of Amboise and was built by the Duke of Choiseul, minister of Louis 15th. Its architecture was patterned on Versailles and it still evokes today the former atmosphere of the large castle, abandoned and destroyed in 1823 by real estate agents. Exiled at Mrs du Barry’s instigation, Choiseul made of Chanteloup a true intellectual and artistic center. He decided its construction between 1775 and 1778 following the Chinese inspiration in vogue at that time. The Pagode of Chanteloup thus brings out an original charm to the Loire valley.
Castle of the Loire Valley: NITRAY
Nitray stands as an exceptional 15th and 16th century architectural set. It’s been a great wine domain since the 15th century. After having visited the wine and spirit house, you can attend a demonstration of champanization in the old way. You can also discover a display of the professions from the period in the Musée de la Vigne et du Vin (museum of wine and vineyard).The harmony of its Renaissance façade rises above a 43 hectares landscape park designed during the 1st Empire. Its recentlyrestored pigeon house is one of the most imposing in the Touraine area.
Castle of the Loire Valley: AMBOISE
In the 15th century, Amboise used to enjoy its golden age.
Charles 7th who had spent his childhood in the castle restored it with a whole team of Italian artists, architects, sculptors and decorators that he had brought back from his journey.
This is the starting point of the Italian influence over French art. Later belonging to Gaston d’Orléans, the outside fortifications were razed to the ground during one of the numerous rebellions against the King. Grant lacking, the main part of the castle was destroyed by Roger Ducos, a member of Napoleon Directory. Nowadays, you can admire the imposing vestiges of a past glory from its terrace which overlooks the River Loire.