The Château de Chenonceau is a beautiful French château that has been built directly over the River Cher, near the village of Chenonceaux. Known to be one of the best-known châteaux of the Loire Valley, the Chenonceau Castle will give you a glimpse into 500 years old French history.
The mention of this castle has been first found in the 11th-century documents and the current chateau was built between 1514 to 1522 on the foundations of an old mill. Later, between 1556 and 1559, the bridge across the river was designed by French Renaissance architect Philibert de l'Orme and later on between 1570 to 1576, the gallery on the bridge was built.
Explore the beautiful chateau with its two beautiful gardens. Admire the architectural magnificence of the chateau made up of three different parts. There is a two-storey building that has been flanked by corner turrets and was built on the foundation of the old mill. Then there is the Tour des Marques, a remnant of an older castle and joining the two buildings spanning over the river Cher resting on five arches is the long gallery that leans on the south facade of the two-storey building. You will be able to take a look at the gallery along with around twenty rooms with rich antique furniture, rare tapestry, paintings and more. Before you end your tour, stroll across the enchanting gardens surrounding the chateau.
The Château de Chenonceau is divided into three distinct parts - the two storey building built, the gallery on the bridge across the river, and the remnant of The Tour des Marques. Wander around twenty well restored rooms and feel captivated looking at their rare tapestries, antique furniture and paintings. Some of the rooms you would like to visit include The rooms of Diane de Poitiers and Catherine de Médicis, The François 1er and Louis XIV salons, The Green Cabinet, The Gallery and The Chapel.
The rooms of the Chenonceau Castle have several masterpiece paintings by European masters of the 16th to 18th centuries and will give you a glimpse of the history of the castle. Some of the paintings which you will find here include Tintoretto, Andrea del Sarto, Van Dyck, Ribalta, and others. You will also be delighted to find paintings by the 15th century Florentine sculptor Mino da Fiesole.
The La Galerie Médicis or the Medicare Gallery of the castle is situated at the first stage of the building. This is the place where you will be able to find a collection of indie paintings, objects of art, tapestries and mobilizers. Feel awe-struck as you look at the Haute Epoque two-piece sideboard, the mobilised origin of the Château de Chenonceau, Tapisserie de Neuilly from 1883, "Venus of the Medici" and more.
The Garden of Diane de Poitiers is overlooked by the Chancery and has two perpendicular and two diagonal paths forming eight large triangles of lawn with santolina shrubs. The original fountain from the time of Diane de Poitiers still exists in the centre. There are raised terraces created to protect the garden from river spate. Ornamental basins punctuate the place and offer views of flower beds, and the terrace walls will mesmerise you with its climbing iceberg roses.
The Garden of Catherine de Medici's design is based on five panels of lawn that has been grouped around a circular basin with globes of boxwood all over. If you stroll towards the east, you will reach a walkway overlooking the moat. You will feel tentalised with the smell of rose and lavender coming from the low rounded cordons bushes.
The Green Garden is an ensemble of centuries-old trees such as Spanish fir, Douglas firs, Atlas cedars, and more. If you view from the Orangerie, you will find the Green Garden revealing the profile of the château.
The Maze Garden is a little building covered by living wicker, and is crowned with a statue de Vénus, a nymph carrying a child Bacchus, that stands atop a cedar trunk. Surrounding this are ivy and boxwood vases in a bower. Go to the rear of the maze to find an ensemble of Pallas and Cybele, Caryatids, and others.
If you are visiting around Christmas, between 6th December to 6th January, you will find the entire chateau decorated with stunning flower arrangements, making the beautiful chateau even more stunning.
Feel enchanted looking at a collection of 400 roses, varieties of flowers like tuberoses and agapanthus, and several vegetables and plants in the flower garden. Take a look at the two old greenhouses which have a myriad of flowers such as tulip bulbs, hyacinth, etc.
The Château de Chenonceau has a long and rich history of its occupants. The ownership of this beautiful castle has passed through several monarchs from the time it was built. Each owner made changes and renovations to the original building.
The Chateau was seized twice because of debt. Once it happened a few years after the main residence was completed when King Francis I of France took over the castle from Bohier’s son because he failed to pay his debts. Again in 1864 when Marguerite Pelouze fell into debt and sold the castle.
The Chateau has an enchanting blend of two architectural styles; Gothic and Renaissance. This can be witnessed in its various rooms, as well as on the doors, ceiling and chimneys.
The Chenonceau Castle served as a temporary military hospital between 1914 to 1918 with 120 beds.
The Chateau was destroyed several times during the second World world in 1940 and again in 1944. In 1951, the chateau was again restored.
The Chateau de Chenonceau is also known as the Ladies Castle as several women owned and influenced its architectural changes.
The famous Louise Dupin, known for being the first woman to draft a code for women’s rights, was one of the owners of this chateau.
The mention of the Château de Chenonceau was first found in historical documents of the 11th century and till the 15th century, a family had owned the castle and the land around Chenonceau. It was in 1535 when the crown estate became a part of a debt settlement and passed into the hands of King Francis I who gifted the place to Diane de Poitiers. The property was taken over by Queen Catherine de Medici, widow of Henry II, and given to her son. When her daughter-in-law, Louise de Lorraine, wife of King Henry III, became a widow and moved into the château in her grief, the castle passed into her hands. In the 18th century, the husband of Louise Dupin, lady of the Enlightenment, purchased the chateau and gradually it passed on to Madame Pelouze in the 19th century, who ran into debt and sold it to Henri Menier. On his death, his brother Gaston turned the chateau into a temporary military hospital. The property remained with the Menier who restored the place to its former glory. Much later in 1913, the place was first opened to visitors.
The Château de Chenonceau and its garden is open every day, all year round but have different opening and closing times.
Opening Time: Varies between 9:00 - 9:30 am
Closing Time: Varies between 4:30 - 7:00 pm
Holiday Weekends: Easter (April 16 to 18), Ascension (from May 26-27-28-29) & Pentecost (June 4-5-6): 9:00 am to 7:00 pm
Yes, the Château de Chenonceau is definitely worth a visit. The enchanting chateau which has been built directly over the River Cher will give you an insight into over 500 years old French history. The chateau will also attract you with its charming surrounding French countryside and beautiful gardens. You will also feel captivated looking at the stunning architecture of the castle which is transitional between Gothic and Renaissance.
The best months to visit Château de Chenonceau are between May to October. During these months, the weather is comfortable for exploring the chateau and its gardens. Visit early in the morning near its opening time to be able to explore the Chenonceau Castle leisurely without too much crowd.
The address of Château de Chenonceau is 37150 CHENONCEAUX. It is located at Touraine on the right bank of river Cher in its valley. It is at a distance of 34 km from Tours and 214 km from Paris.
You will be able to explore around twenty rooms of the Chateau de Chenonceau while visiting the place. Some of the rooms which you will be able to take a look at include The rooms of Diane de Poitiers and Catherine de Médicis, The François 1er and Louis XIV salons, The Green Cabinet, The guard room, The Gallery and The Chapel. All the rooms are well preserved and have rich antique furniture, paintings and rare tapestries.
The enchanting Chenonceau Castle is famous for this spell-binding architecture which is transitional between Gothic and Renaissance. It has an isolated tower flanking a drawbridge on the river Cher. The architectural magnificence has been restored in the 19th century and attracts visitors to take a look at their Son et lumière (French: “sound and light”) displays, using the historical soundtrack, and varicoloured lights.