Thursday, July 7, 2016

France Trip Day 7 - 6/22 - Chateau Arpentis, Chateau Chenonceau

 It is really foggy early this morning.  It is so beautiful here!  It is pretty warm and humid, but beautiful.

Today we go visit Chateau Chenonceau.
Chenonceau was owned by 4 women through the centuries, so it is known as the "Ladies Castle".
The oldest part of the castle left is the keep or the defensive tower in the front.  The castle was original built as a fort, then it was more of a home. Later the original home was torn down and the front part of the current chateau was built.  The chateau was taken by the government as punishment by the owner.
The front of Chenonceau!

The Keep

The very feminine balcony.
A bed fit for a queen!
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And just one of the huge fireplaces.

King Henry gave Chenonceau to his mistress, Diane de Poitier, although he didn't personally own it.  She added a "fishing pier/deck" off the back of the house.  She also added all kinds of personal touches with Henry and Diane motifs all over the Chateau.
Henry and Diane initials in a floor tile.

When Henry died the chateau went to Catherine de Medici, Henry's wife.  Catherine kicked Diane out, giving her one of Catherine's castles.  Catherine then added the 2 story hall to the "fishing pier", extending it to the other side of the river.  
Other women owners added their touches to the chateau so it is a very romantic place.  
This is one floor of the long hall that creates the bridge across the river.

And Catherine also added HER motifs with Henry and her initials inter-linked. You can see the "C" vs. Diane's "D".

There is an extensive display of beautiful copper pot, pans, etc. in the kitchen rooms.

They have lots of furnishings in the room whereas Chenonceau was a home, compared to Chambord which was a hunting lodge and all the furniture was taken there and away from there as the court moved.
Just like on Downton Abbey!

The Chateau Chapel - Some of the windows were destroyed durning WWII. and have been replaced with newer designs.
Graffiti was left on the wall of the chapel, some by Queen Mary of Scots' Scottish Guard.

Most interesting were the tiles on the floor.  The finish is only left near the walls, the rest has been worn away by the years of feet walking on these floors.

Beautiful tapestry helped make the chateau feel warm.

And many rooms have georgeous paintings on the ceiling as well on the walls.

Diane had a beautiful garden planted on one side of the chateau, and then Catherine added her own garden on the other side!
 After the tour of Chenoceau, we had a lunch picnic next to one of the chateau's canals.

We skipped other castle visits with beautiful Chenonceau still in our hearts.  We were pretty tired by the time we were done....several days of LOTS of stairs!  When we got back to Arpentis, the girls went swimming and we went for a couple walks.

Cathy found this treasure just sitting on the ground!
We are going to miss this place!

We have to pack tonight, leaving tomorrow.

Our Itinerary for Day 7

June 22 ~ Day 7~ Wednesday Chenonceau & Castles
(long day, if there are points to shorten then do so, so we can have more time to pack in the evening.) LET B&B KNOW WE WILL BE LATE GETTING BACK.
Morning ~ Have a light breakfast in main house

8:00ish ~ Leave for Chenonceau Map 7.1

9:30ish ~ Arrive at Chenonceau
Opens at 9:00am
Castle aprox $18.00

12:00ish ~ have a picnic lunch

1:00ish ~ Leave for Chateau De Villandry map 7.2

1:30ish ~ arrive at Chateau De Villandry
Opens at 9:00am closes 7pm
Castle and garden aprox $11.00

3:00ish ~ Leave for relaxing drive and sight seeing castles. Map 7.3

3:30ish Map 7.3 Chateau Usse
stop for a camera moment and stretch legs, enjoy the view.
Afternoonish ~ think where we want to adventure, head back to Chateau des Arpentis map 7.4

Dinner at our room - cook simple dinner - or have leftovers from night before

Pack Bags 

Big day tomorrow get to sleep earlier then later.

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