Friday, January 3, 2014

Chateau de Chenonceau

The chateau of Chenonceau, outside of Tours and sitting across the Cher River, is likely at its best in the spring, when its extensive gardens are blooming and the River Cher is high from spring rains. However, the staff at this historic landmark did a terrific job decorating the chateau for the Christmas season. Three large Christmas trees adorned the salons and the main hall over the river, crackling fires drove away the chill air, and mantles and tables were decorated with festive floral arrangements. We visited on New Year's Day, and while plenty of people had the same plans, the chateau was not so overrun with tourists that it was impossible to get photos without faces or body parts in them.

The chateau's website is very well done, with loads of information, an extensive photo gallery and panoramic tour with an accompanying guide to each room.

Northeast view of the chateau.

West view of the chateau

Catherine de Medici's garden

The Marques Tower

Chapel windows

Ceiling in the first floor bed chamber.
All the ceilings in the chateau are works of art.

Bench in the first floor gallery

Alcove in the first floor gallery

Collection of copper pots in the pantry

Smaller staff dining room

Prep area 
Larger dining room for the chateau staff

The kitchen

Stove and ovens in the kitchen

View of Catherine de Medici's garden from a gallery window

Even the staircase ceiling is magnificent


Stained glass above the main door lintel

Rain spout gargoyle

The well on the courtyard outside the Marques Tower

View of some of the outbuildings, some of which serve as a wax museum,
along the long drive from the street to the chateau

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