Hi all! I have to say that the Chateau de Chenonceau is going on my list of favorite castles purely based on its scandalous nature. Not only was this considered the woman’s castle with the Best Flowers, but, it was the castle where all the mistresses and some of their illegitimate children lived.
Before I jump into our walk through Chateau de Chenonceau, here are my favorite castles by category to date:
- Best love story – Chateau de Napoule
- Best castle education – La Tour de Crest
- Best hiking – Chateau de Crussol
- Biggest – Chateau de Chambord
And now….the most scandalous!! I highly recommend the audio tour as it’s told by ‘actresses’ of the time and you learn so much more than the flier.?The first thing you notice when you walk up the tree lined trail is the beautiful gardens throughout and the moat (water ‘protecting’ the castle).Inside the castle they had their very own church but no more than 5 queens were allowed at any one time. Often they would watch from the second floor and I bet the confessions were fascinating to listen to 🙂Each room was beautifully decorated and held unique touches personal to each Mistress. All the beds included overhangs as they believed it kept your soul in your body while you slept.For obvious reasons, Diane’s room was my favorite as she was gifted the castle by King Henry.
Although Henry was married to Catherine, he only had eyes for Diane ever since he first saw her as a child (love at first sight that endured a lifetime!) Yep, she was an older woman by like 20 years!I kinda love the fact that the fire place had an H for Henry, intertwined C’s for Catherine but together the C’s formed a D for Diane.The kitchen was huge and covered multiple rooms – a true sign the girls love to eat and can appreciate great food.This was one of the dining rooms. Every room in the castle is filled with flower arrangements like this.The Grand Hall originally was Diane’s vision to have a getaway out back to garden and hunt. I like that she could do it all! However, after Catherine made her give the castle back (which Diane traded for a more expensive castle – love that she was a business savvy too), she turned it into a 60 meter Gala room.
Years later it would serve as a hospital during the revolution and then a refugee spot during the next war.Every floor of the castle has amazing views of the gardens and from the gardens you can see the castle surrounded by the river that surrounds it.I am definitely intigued to continue following Diane’s journey to the other castles after she was kicked out. Definitely something for our next trip!
Catching up on our latest France Trip:
Our next stop is along the ocean on the West Coast in Saint-Malo in the Brittany area.