Some refer to it as the pearl of River Cher. It is an epitome of fun and education. The tall and mighty Chenonceau castle is in Touraine, on River Cher, 214 km from Paris, 34 km from Tours and sits on the Famous Loire Valley. Castle Chenonceau boasts a fantastic view of the colorful gardens which, offer a tranquil environment for its visitors all through. Its structures present an artistic, architectural mixture of late Gothic and early Renaissance.

History of Chateau Chenonceau

The presently peaceful castle has had its share of turbulent history since its inception in the 13th century. In 1412, Jean Marques received punishment for sedition by having his Chateau torched. He rebuilt the castle, but his heir Pierre Marques had to sell it to settle debts.

Thomas Bohier bought the castle in 1513. He demolished the castle and raised an entirely new structure by 1521. The Castle prides having King Francis I set foot on its floors. Chateau Chenonceau shifted ownership to King Henry II in 1535 owing to defaulted debt payments. Henry gifted the chateau to his mistress Diane de Poitiers.

Queen Catherine de Medicis terminated Diane’s ownership of the castle on July 10, 1955. She ruled the Kingdom of France right from her study. Catherine gave up the castle to her daughter-in-law, Louise de Lorraine who spent her days within, mourning her husband, Henry III.

Louise Dupin was next in ownership, courtesy of her wealthy husband, Claude Dupin. She was insightful, prepossessing and had a literary salon that hosted renowned writers such as Voltaire, philosopher Condillac as well as other highly educated people.

Eventually Madame Pelouze, a wealthy heiress, acquired the chateau in 1864. She made changes in the castle that resulted in a tough financial crisis. She was forced to sell to Henry Menier in 1913.

Henry’s demise resulted in the conversion of the chateau into a military hospital during the terrible WWI by his brother, Gaston Menier. The chateau yet again took up the use of hospital wards during WWII and the bridge used as an illegal passage of people escaping from the Nazi rule.

The Menier family committed the chateau to Bernard Voisin in 1951 who elevated it to its former luxurious state where it still stands as one of the biggest attractions in France.

How to visit Chateau Chenonceau

The Chateau is easily accessible by air, road, and rail. It prides access to high-speed trains; Paris-Montparnasse, Paris-Roissy-CDG Airport, and a train station adjacent to the ticket office. Also, car travels take only two hours from Paris using the Aquitaine motorway.

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