An architectural masterpiece with a long rich history,
known as the jewel of the Loire Valley and the Château des Dames
This chateau has the perfect harmony between nature, air, water and natural greener with
world renowned awe inspiring architecture.
Built, renovated, and cherished by women over the centuries
beginning in 1513, when Katherine Briçonnet, wife of Thomas Bohier,
was the head designer and director of the project.
When François I was the King of France, the estate returned to the crown as part of a debt settlement.
Henry II gave the chateau to his mistress Diane de Poitiers.
She was the first notable woman to live at Chateau Chenonceau.
Her legacy lives on at the Chateau today, she created spectacular gardens.
Diane devoted all her time to the renovation of the castle,
and planted lush flowerbeds and a bridge overlooking the Cher river.
The garden was planted with yew, spindle, box and laurustinus bushes lining the flower beds.
When Henry II died in 1559, his wife Catherine de Medici forced her rival to leave the chateau.
She tried to eradicate all traces of Diane by redecorating all the rooms,
redeveloping the gardens and by building galleries on the bridge.
The Italian maze designed by Catherine de Medici was planted with 2,000 yew trees.
A succession of women owned and lived at the chateau.
In the 18th century, the château was purchased by the husband of Louise Dupin.
Known as the Lady of Enlightenment, she hosted the best scholars,
philosophers and academians in France to her famous literary salon.
She was the first to draft a Code of Women’s Rights,
with the assistance of her secretary, Jean-Jacques Rousseau
Several other women owned the chateau,
until in the early 1900’s the owner, Madame Pelouze went bankrupt and had to sell.
The owner of the Menier Chocolate factory Henri Menier purchased the chateau in 1913
and his brother inherited it when he died.
He transformed the chateau into a military hospital during the “Great War”, footing the cost.
During World War II, the Grand Gallery at Chenonceau became the sole point of access to the free zone,
the Menier family helped smuggle people out of France fleeing the Nazis.
The chapel at the chateau is a little gem!
The original stained glass windows were destroyed by bombing in 1944
and were replaced with work by artist Max Ingrand.
Chenonceau has an amazing collection of furniture, textiles and paintings.
Masterpieces by Rubens, Tintoretto, Correggio, Murillo, Van Dyck,
and many more of the greatest European artists fill the chateau.
One of the prettiest things that I love about this chateau these days
is that they have fabulous, larger-than-life floral arrangements fill every room – amazing!
You can watch the chateau’s video here: