The castle of Chenonceau

Chenonceau Castle is often considered one of the most beautiful châteaux of the Loire Valley. Its unique architecture, spanning the River Cher, and its rich history make it a popular destination for tourists visiting the region.

The castle has a strong association with two powerful women from French history: Catherine de Medici and Diane de Poitiers. Catherine de Medici, who was the wife of King Henry II, acquired the castle in 1555 and made significant changes to its design and decor. She added the grand gallery that spans the river, and decorated the castle in a style that reflected her love of astrology and the occult.

Before Catherine, Diane de Poitiers, who was King Henry II’s mistress, was given the castle by her lover. She also made significant changes to the castle, including the addition of the formal gardens that are still a highlight of the castle today.

The castle has had other notable owners and visitors over the centuries, including Louise of Lorraine, the widow of King Henry III, who spent the last years of her life at Chenonceau in mourning for her husband. During World War I, the castle was used as a hospital, and during World War II, it served as a border crossing between Nazi-occupied France and the Free Zone.

Today, visitors can explore the castle and its gardens, learn about its fascinating history, and admire its beautiful architecture and decor.