Maybe the most visited and most romantic of all castles in the Loire Valley - Château de Chenonceau. It is famous specially because of six women that lived there - among them Catherine de Medici , the wife of the king Henry II, and Diane de Poitiers, his mistress. Looking at the both women, and taking into aacount the malicious character of Cath, no wonder the king preferred lovely Diane.
The setting of the castle over the river Cher and the arched gallery are really marvelous. I was afraid of the herds of turist, but probably September is low season already and it was not as bad. The other side of the castle is more often photographed but we had better light on this side.
The château was built on the site of an old mill on the River Cher, sometime before its first mention in writing in the 11th century.
The original château was torched in 1412 to punish owner Jean Marques for an act of sedition. He rebuilt a château and fortified mill on the site in the 1430s. Subsequently, his indebted heir Pierre Marques sold the castle to Thomas Bohier (fr) Chamberlain for King Charles VIII of France in 1513 Bohier destroyed the castle, though its 15th-century keep was left standing, and built an entirely new residence between 1515 and 1521. The work was sometimes overseen by his wife Katherine Briçonnet, who delighted in hosting French nobility, including King Francis I on two occasions.
In 1535 the château was seized from Bohier's son by King Francis I of France for unpaid debts to the Crown; after Francis' death in 1547, Henry II offered the château as a gift to his mistress, Diane de Poitiers, who became fervently attached to the château along the river. In 1555 she commissioned Philibert de l'Orme to build the arched bridge joining the château to its opposite bank. Diane then oversaw the planting of extensive flower and vegetable gardens along with a variety of fruit trees. Set along the banks of the river, but buttressed from flooding by stone terraces, the exquisite gardens were laid out in four triangles.
Diane de Poitiers was the unquestioned mistress of the castle, but ownership remained with the crown until 1555, when years of delicate legal maneuvers finally yielded possession to her. However, after King Henry II died in 1559, his strong-willed widow and regent Catherine de' Medici forced Diane to exchange it for the Château Chaumont. Queen Catherine then made Chenonceau her own favorite residence, adding a new series of gardens.
As Regent of France, Catherine would spend a fortune on the château and on spectacular nighttime parties. In 1560, the first ever fireworks display seen in France took place during the celebrations marking the ascension to the throne of Catherine's son Francis II. The grand gallery, which extended along the existing bridge to cross the entire river, was dedicated in 1577.
On Catherine's death in 1589 the château went to her daughter-in-law, Louise de Lorraine-Vaudémont, wife of King Henry III. At Chenonceau Louise was told of her husband's assassination in 1589 and she fell into a state of depression, spending the remainder of her days wandering aimlessly along the château's corridors dressed in mourning clothes amidst somber black tapestries stitched with skulls and crossbones.
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papagolf21 (89732) 2013-10-02 3:13
Bonjour, chère Malgo,
J'ai beau connaître le château, le choix du cadrage donne encore une autre vision de ce chef d'oeuvre.
Image naturelle et bien présentée.
jemaflor (88857) 2013-10-02 3:57
Very beautiful architecture for this original castle on the river, good pov and nice brightness for the water, well taken.
carlo62 (38134) 2013-10-02 4:11
un bellissimo castello in una splendida composizione, mi piacciono molto i riflessi con l'acqua leggermente increspata.
Il cielo non era al meglio, ma sei riuscita ad ottenere un buon risultato.
Sergiom (66377) 2013-10-02 5:07
Cette région est des plus touristique et pour cause. Ces châteaux sont de toute beauté et une des raisons pour lesquelles la France est le pays le plus visité au monde. J'aime beaucoup cette lumière matinale très particulière.
luciola (2918) 2013-10-02 5:20
To nieustajaco piekny obiekt ciekawie posadowiony. Jesli dobrze pamietam, to jego czesc byla ciagle zamieszkala przez wlascicieli. Ladne spojrzenie.
macondo (18623) 2013-10-02 6:23
A fine view of a lovely chateau, well composed to make the most of the perspective effect of the wall and the framing effect of the tree. It's a pity this shot suffers from over-exposure of parts of the castle and the sky.
You are very lucky to have been travelling so recently in France. This is one area I am not familiar with, but I keep seeing photos of the beautiful chateaux in the Loire valley, so I must go soon.
I hope you and your good friends are well.
rychem (27566) 2013-10-02 9:01
Niestety, gdy byłem nad Loara, nie robiłem zdjęć, z przyjemnością teraz patrzę na Twoje, pięknie ujety zamek na wodzie
Sonata11 (33653) 2013-10-02 9:08
poznaje ten zamek ktory pokazujesz jest on naprawde imponujacy. Podobal nam sie. Pieknie pokazujesz go z tego ujecia. Bardzo ladnie wykonane zdjecie i to odbicie w wodzie. Ladna praca.
Silvio1953 (129470) 2013-10-02 11:19
Ciao Malgorzata, great view of fantastic castle, fascinating reflections, wonderful natural colors, excellent clarity and splendid light, very well done, my friend, ciao Silvio
Romano46 (18472) 2013-10-02 11:26
molto bella questa inquadratura del castello con lo sguardo che corre lungo il muro a ridosso dell'acqua e il castello a fare da bello sfondo.
Una bella composizione che con una luce più brillante avrebbe avuto un effetto spettacolare, ma che pur in presenza di bassa nuvolaglia e tinte attenuate mantiene gran parte del suo fascino.
Una bella rappresentazione di uno dei tanti castelli che sicuramente hai avuto modo di visitare.
Ciao e buona serata
mkamionka (32373) 2013-10-02 14:07
wydawalo mi sie ze mowilas ze nie bedziesz miec czasu na pokazywaniu zamkow bo bedziesz przygotowywac sie do mezcetow :)
Twoj reportaz jeszcze bardziej przekonuje mnie ze naprawde warto wybrac sie w ten region. Kazdy zamek jest tak inny. I wszystkie wydaja sie tak piekne. Tutaj znowu swietne wykorzystanie odbicia. Ciekawie wyszla tez powierzchnia wody.
Sprawdzalem i mam wlasciwie blizej samochodem w te miejsca niz Ty z Warszawy a wiec kto wie moze jak Nadia dorosnie bede mogl jechac tam na wakacyjny objazd.
photoray (13450) 2013-10-02 16:42
Impressive gothic chateau with dramatic Romanesque arches astride the water, and your view captures the historical blending.
And a bonus with your informative historical note.
PS: My current postings are from Montana's Glacier National Park, and the small white spots are what remains of previously large glaciers before global warming.
jcpix (13812) 2013-10-02 20:26
I'm so incredibly jealous of your travels, and it's been a real treat to follow you through France...you've had some wonderful pictures, and I'm glad that you're sharing them with the rest of us! :) A magnificent castle, so much beauty and charm from the old world. I absolutely love the soft colors and warm atmosphere rendered from this imagery...it almost looks too good to be true. My favorite thing is the reflection of the arches, leading forward to the ripples in the foreground....a smooth and intriguing transition. Hope to see many, many more. Travel safe, be well. Take good care.
Hanssie (10441) 2013-10-05 1:21
I've been there too, a long time ago, it was and still is a wonderful and fairylike castle crossing the river.
Noce photo !