Sunday, July 3, 2016

France Trip Day 3 - To Chateau de Nazelles, Amboise

We were heading to our next home for a couple days, Chateau de Nazelles on the outskirts of Amboise.

On the way, we took a break and took these pictures.

And isn't this an interesting way to make a plain cube interesting!!

Again, we are very grateful for the GPS that helps us find our way!  Thank you Robert for loading the France maps!

The Loire Valley has sandstone cliffs in many places.  This stone is very soft but hardens when it hits air.  This is the stone that a lot of the chateaus are made of.   The common folk would often dig caves into the stone and use them as houses.  Even today they are often part of a house, a garage, stables, storage sheds or wine cellars.  They keep an even temperature, great for wine.

The Chateau de Nazelles dates back to 1518, built as a residence of the Lord of Nazelles.  It was also a wine estate for many centuries.

The castle as you can see it today, Historically Listed, was built in 1518 by Thomas Bohier, who also initiated the construction of the castle of Chenonceau. Thomas Bohier, chancellor of Normandy, participated in several conquests in Italy. You can see the influence of the Renaissance style in the architecture of the château. The château remained in the Bohier family until the middle of the 17th century.
At the beginning of the 18th century the castle belongs to another aristocrat family -Ouvrard de Martigny-, who modified the property in many ways. A porch was built in the middle of the castle, the main entrance was in the vineyards beforehand. Most of the surrounding buildings were sold during that period of time. Denis Charité Joseph Ouvrard de Martigny was the last Lord of Nazelles, and the first maire of the village under the new republic.
During the 19th and the beginning of the 20th century, a number of artistic personalities lived in château de Nazelles. Let’s quote as an example the french-american symbolist poet named Mr. Vielé-Griffin in 1870, who regularly hosted friends such as Mallarmé, André Gide and Paul Valéry.
In 1900, the painter Debat-Ponsan settled in with his family; his "atelier" today still remains. Born in 1847 in Toulouse, this famous painter studied the "Beaux-Arts" in Toulouse, then in Paris. His paintings are exposed in Tours in the Arts Museum.
His daughter Marguerite organized numerous artistic parties in the château, inviting friends amongst which the famous French composer Francis Poulenc (1899-1963), who composed “les soirées de Nazelles” to remind those precious moments.
The Fructus family settled in in 1999.

Our home at Chateau de Nazelles has the kitchen and living room made into the cave.

The Dining Area in the Kitchen

The Living Room.  The little door in the wall opens to more extensive caves  in the cliff.

Our view from the downstairs bedroom looking toward Amboise.

Off to bed for much needed sleep!

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