Here's a pic of Steffanie and Frank - don't they just look like quintessential New Yorkers? I mean, they're dressed in black in the French countryside on an 80 degree day; I love it.
Compared to Chambord, Chenonceau is quite the 'girly' castle. It has lots of furnitshings and art, and it is beautifully landscaped. In fact, there's a legend about the gardens that you should probably know. One of them was designed by the king's mistress, Diane du Portiers, and the other was designed by his wife, Queen Catherine de Medici. Whichever garden you prefer, without knowing who designed it in advance, is supposed to reveal something important about your character. I'll let you decide which I kgarden you like best and what you think it means. I'm sure you can find lots of info about Chenonceau online if you're into that sort of thing. For now, just enjoy some pretty pictures of this rather idyllic place.
Each castle had a chapel - here's the one for Chenonceau.
The tapestries on the walls were gorgeous. I wish I could do needlepoint like that.
I loved the leaded glass windows.
Lots of windows were open during my visits, so I leaned out and captured some interesting architectural shots when I could.
The grand hall spanning across the river - at first, it was just a hallways, but eventually the rooms above it would be built.Interesting fact: during WWII, the entrance to the castle was Nazi occupied France, and the other side of the river was Vichy controlled or free France. Apparently, many families traipsed through this castle in the dead of night to escape Nazi control.
The kitchens are beautifully outfitted with both original and reproduction pieces.
There's a story about Queen Catherine de Medici being lowered in a basket like swing contraption out this kitchen window for a bath in the river when she was in her advanced years.
I mean, can you even imagine an entrance door that grand? It had to be 25 feet tall.
I love this side view of the castle with the water of the river Share in the foreground.
What would a French castle be without some sort of Roman ruin on the property?
Oh, and a labrynth of course...
I think I remember the guide telling us that a watchtower was always built before a castle was begun on a site; that's what this building was. The only thing inside of it to see now was an atm - hilarious, right?
Here's a closeup of the carvings on the front door.
And here is a detailed shot of a piece of the original florring to the castle - roughly 500 years old.
How about a look at the queen's bedchamber? Originally, blue was the color for women and red/pink were colors for men, btw. It got switched sometime after the 1600s. (Oh, and wedding dresses were almost always in an icy blue color for light and purity.) Anyway, irl, the bed is super short. I learned that people in this time period believed it was unhealthy to recline fully, so they just leaned back in a semi-upright position. That explains why all the beds prior to the 1800s are super short. Who knew?
There was beutiful stained glass over the entryway.
Tonia and I visited the wine cellars on the grounds of Chenonceau and had a wine tasting.
I hated all the wine we tried because it was so bitter. I like my wine like I like my men, sweet. Hahaha! (Fella, are you reading this?) Plus, an old sourpuss of a lady served it to us, so that didn't improve the taste of it at all to me. Just keeping it real...
Au revoir, Chenonceau; vos cheateau et vos jardins sont tres jolie!