Chenonceau is one of the most of the loveliest and most graceful chateaux of the Loire Valley. It is built over the Cher river and owes its elegance to women's influence notably Diane de Poitiers, the favorite of King Henry II. At the King untimely death during a joust tournament, the Queen Catherine de Medici expelled Diane and took over the castle. She then undertook to embelish it further,built the covered gallery over the river and enlarged the Italian gardens. The chateau was spared from destruction at the French Revolution because its then owner Madame Dupin (Grandmother of author George Sand) convinced the Revolutionary Guards that the bridge was essential being the only to cross the river for many miles
The Most Majestic
By far, Chambordis the grandest, most extravagant and most royal of the châteaux de la Loire. Built by Francois I in 1519 on the site of a hunting lodge in the Forêt de Boulogne this castle counts 440 room, 84-staircase, 365 fireplaces. A tour of the chateau will you take through many grandiose apartments but most stunning is the double spiral staircase possibly conceived by Leonardo da Vinci. The park is a national hunt reserve and enclosed by a wall, the longest one in france (20 miles)
Other medieval fortresses in the Loire Valley are Angeais and Loches. The former was built by Saint Louis between 1228 and 1238 and is home to the priceless tapestry of the Acopalypse; its surrounding moat is now a lovely garden. A tour of the medieval fortress castle of Loches, will include the dungeons and cells where louis XI kept prisonners in cages.
tags; #loire valley,# france castles; # loire valley castles,# Chenonceau,#Chambord, # Villandry, # Cheverny, # Chateau de Blois# , # Chateau du Rivau, #Langeais castle