In celebration of International Women Day I would like to place the spotlight on the Chateau des Dames – Chenonceau. This magnificent castle in the Loire valley owes its construction and survival over the centuries to a few women. In 1513, Catherine de Briconnet supervises its construction in the Renaissance style; Diane de Poitiers, the favorite of King Henri II, later owned it. When the king died, the chateau was promptly appropriated by his widow Catherine de Medicis who expulsed Diane to the fortress of Chaumont. Catherine de Medicis had the Grand Gallery built over the Cher. In the 18th century Madame Louise Dupin who owned Chenonceau was instrumental in having the chateau spared from destruction at the time of the French Revolution. In 1864 Madame Pelouze acquired the chateau and engaged in major renovations. Today, the castle is an enduring gem. Privately owned it is continually restored and maintained for the pleasure of visitors around the world.