Nice Hunting Lodge
This lovely manor house has quite a history. First purchased in 1368 by the Provost of Paris, Jehan Bernier, it has hosted numerous historic figures and events in French history. Charles X abdicated here; Napoleon spent his last night here before his exile to St. Helena; DeGaulle from here gave General Leclerc the final orders for the liberation of Paris in 1944; the first G% summet was held here in 1975; the 1999 Kosovo peace conference was held here; and it has been used to entertain such world leaders as Nikita Kruchev, Boris Yeltsin, Nelson Mandela, Dwight Eisenhower and Jimmy Carter (a good Georgia boy!). It was a hunting lodge from the time of Louis XVI until President Chirac stopped the practice because it was not a good use of public funds (and I would guess some "political correctness").
This tower is all that remains of the 1375 building and is where Francois I purportedly died. The old walls here are 4 meters thick!
We got to the chateau before the 14:00 opening time and waited until after that but saw no one in the ticket booth so went to the front door. We were admitted with no admission ticket, passed through the security screening and told to have a seat nearby where we waited for about 20 minutes. Finally one of the guys who let us in came and showed us through. He spoke almost not at all but gave us a written guide in English. We never paid the admission fee of 5.50 euros.
"You know its important by the entry"
This vast and formal entry to the chateau sort of tells you it is an important place. I am not sure what this is called but it lends a note of dignity and significance to the point of almost making it a daunting visit.