Chenonceau Things to Do

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  • Chenonceau Swans: Henry and Diana
    Chenonceau Swans: Henry and Diana
    by Kuznetsov_Sergey
  • Château de Chenonceau, Tom + A Sphinx, July 2008
    Château de Chenonceau, Tom + A Sphinx,...
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Most Recent Things to Do in Chenonceau

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    Château de Chenonceau: Through the Windows

    by von.otter Updated Jun 11, 2012

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    Ch��teau de Chenonceau, Le Cher, July 2008
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    “Queen of White Injury”
    — said of Louise de Lorraine (1553-1601), widow of Henri III

    Following her husband’s assassination, Louise of Lorraine was inconsolable in her grief; she withdrew to Chateau de Chenonceau, where she staying when her husband was killed on 2.August.1589. In the same year Queen Louise inherited Château de Chenonceau from her mother-in-law, Catherine de’Medici. Louise mourned, wearing white, until the end of her life.

    During the 17th century Château de Chenonceau passed along a string of royal relatives who paid it little mind.

    In 1733, Claude Dupin bought the castle from the Louis-Henri, duc de Bourbon. Madame Dupin held salons here, attended by the best of French society, writers and artists. Madame Dupin lived a long life and was much loved by the townspeople; when the odious Revolution came, they defended the château and its owner. See my Chenonceau introduction for the story of why Madame Dupin changed the name of the château.

    Théophile-Jules Pelouze, a chemist by profession, bought the castle from Madame Dupin’s heirs. In 1864, Madame Pelouze, the last of les dames de château, began much-needed restoration work, lasting 10 year.

    In the summer of 1879 Claude Debussy was engaged as a pianist by Scottish heiress Marguerite Wilson-Pelouze, mistress of France’s president, Jules Grévy. Debussy’s chief task at Château de Chenonceau was to play the insomniac Marguerite to sleep!

    In 1913, Henri Menier, a chocolate manufacturing magnate, bought the estate; it has remained in his family since. The public has been welcome since the 1950s.

    During World War II, the boundary between Nazi-occupied Vichy France and Free France was the River Cher. The château was in Free France, and its forest across the river was in Nazi-held France.

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    Cher (river)

    by Kuznetsov_Sergey Updated Jan 27, 2012

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    Chenonceau Swans: Henry and Diana

    The Château de Chenonceau situated on the Cher River which is a left tributary to the river Loire. The river suffered a devastating flood in 1940, which damaged Château de Chenonceau, which spans the river, and other structures along the banks.
    Alongside the river, in the centre of the arbor and facing the caryatides, a maze with two thousand yews has been planted in the spirit of Catherine de' Medici's time, according to an Italian plan dating from 1720.

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    Diane de Poitiers' & Catherine de' Medici' gardens

    by Kuznetsov_Sergey Updated Jan 27, 2012

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    Chenonceau Park

    On the right you will see Diane de Poitiers' garden. Its the entrance is overlooked by the Steward's house: La Chancellerie. It was built in the 16th century.
    This garden is protected from flooding by the Cher by elevated terraces from which there are beautiful views over the borders and over the Château. On the left you will see the more intimate garden of Catherine de' Medici. It has a central pool from which you can discover the West façade.

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    Chateau de Chenonceau

    by Kuznetsov_Sergey Updated Jan 27, 2012

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    Chenonceau Castle

    The Chateau de Chenonceau is a manor house in Loire Valley. It was built on the site of an old mill on the River Cher, sometime before its first mention in writing in the 11th century.
    There is a set of the most improbable histories connected with a name of Diana de Poitiers: as if she was simultaneously the mistress of the king and his son; as if Francisk asked her "to train his son in a science of love", still not skilled young man whom she made her lover.

    You can watch my 2 min 56 sec Video Chenonceau Palace and Park out of my Youtube channel.

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    Chateau - Bedroom of Diane de Poitiers

    by Maria81 Written Nov 27, 2011

    Right across the hallway from the bedroom of King Francois I is the bedroom of King Henry II's favourite - Diane de Poitiers. Her big four-poster bed, covered with blue velvet, is still there - and there is another of the huge white fireplaces in this room, although more lavishly decorated than that in the bedroom of Francois I.

    There are also three well-preserved tapestries with mostly medieval/mythological motifs , two of them covering most of the respective walls (the third is a smaller one). There are also antique chairs with tapestry backs to match.

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    Chateau - Bedroom of Francois I

    by Maria81 Written Nov 27, 2011

    Also accessible from the Hall (second room on the right hand side when you go in) is the bedroom of King Francois I who has stayed at the Chenonceau castle several times. Remarkably, there was no bed in it - but there is period furniture and paintings (mostly portraits of the notables), as well as richly decorated walls. The centrepiece is a huge white fireplace with red brocade decorations.

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    Chateau - The Chapel

    by Maria81 Written Nov 20, 2011

    A passage leads from the Guards' Room into the Chapel. The Chapel escaped the devastation that befell a lot of religious buildings during the French Revolution when it was turned into storage for fire wood.

    Today religious objects are, of course, back. For me, the highlight were the seven stained glass windows under the stone-rib ceiling. These feature, among other scenes, Baby Jesus in the arms of Virgin Mary and St. George Slaying the Dragon. Several paintings of the scenes of Jesus' life and crucifixion, as well as a stone carving in the shape of an icon, adorn the walls.

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    Chateau - The Guards' Room

    by Maria81 Written Nov 20, 2011

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    One of the first rooms you see after you pass the hall, the Guards' Room was originally used by soldiers designated for royal protection. It still features the original stone carvings on the doorways, as well as religious statuary. The centerpiece is the large stone fireplace.

    The room also features a number of tapestries with scenes of medieval life across most of the walls, and antique furniture - chairs and storage chests - although these are not original to the room.

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    Visit the town of Chenonceaux

    by Beausoleil Updated Jul 11, 2011

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    Le Bon Laboureur - a restaurant

    For some reason unknown to me, the town is Chenonceaux and the chateau is Chenoceau. I'd love to know the reason but until someone enlightens me, it's a French mystery.

    Update: Fellow VT members told me that the owner of the chateau changed the name during the Revolution because they wanted to distinguish the "royal" chateau from the "republican" village. Makes perfect sense.

    The town is quite small and can be filled with tourists. We love both chateau and gardens and have driven through the town many times on the way to somewhere. We always noticed this restaurant. The name and the ivy-covered walls are very welcoming. If we're ever there at lunch, we're going to try it. We have eaten at the chateau and it is very convenient.

    On our last trip, the chateau was filled with French schoolchildren brought in by bus so the town was relatively quiet.

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    The Kitchen

    by black_mimi99 Updated Apr 28, 2011

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    The kitchen are located in the 2 enormous basses forming the 1st two piers built in the bed of the river cher.
    the kitchen is amazing, I love the kitchen room... have 2 dining room, for inhabitants of the Castle, and for the staff of the Castle.

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    The wax museum

    by black_mimi99 Written Apr 28, 2011

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    mi's

    Domes in the Building, the new wax museum around the ladies who made Chenonceau: Katherine Briçonnet, Diane de Poitiers, Catherine de Medici, Mary Stuart, Louise de Lorraine, Madame Dupin, Madame Pelouze. Historical walking tour of Chenonceau in the Renaissance to the Great War: 1518 - 1918. Wonderful collection of costumes made from the materials of the time.

    When visit this museum, we need pay more if in our ticket not included visit the museum.

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    Gabrielle d'Estrées' Bedroom

    by black_mimi99 Written Apr 28, 2011

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    This bedroom in memory of Gabrielle d'Estrées, the favourite and great love of King Hneri IV, and mother to his legitimate son Cesar of Vendome.
    The ceiling has visible joists and floor, fireplace and furniture are all Renaissance.

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    The Five Queens Bedroom

    by black_mimi99 Written Apr 28, 2011

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    mi's

    This bedrrom was given this name in memory of Catherine de' Medici's two daughters and three daughters in law.
    Her daughters:
    Queen Margot (wife of Henri IV)
    Elisabeth of France (wife of Philippe II of Spain)

    Her daughters in law:
    Mary Stuart (wife of François II)
    Elisabeth of Austria (wife of Charles IX
    Louise of Lorraine (wife of Henri III)

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    François I's Bedrrom

    by black_mimi99 Updated Apr 28, 2011

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    mi's

    In this room is one of the most splendid Renaissance fireplace. Underneath the mantelpiece surrounded by two mermaids is the motto of Thomas Bohier: S'il vient à point, me souviendra - to echo the coat of arms sculpted above the door.

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    Louis XIV's Drawing Room

    by black_mimi99 Written Apr 28, 2011

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    portrait of Louis XIV - mi's
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    In memory of the visit he made to chateau Chenonceau onth july , Louis XIV, many years later, offered his uncle Duke of Vendome, his portrait by Rigaud - in an extraordinary frame by Lepautre, composed simply of four enormous pieces of wood.

    On the renaissance fireplace, the Salamander and the Stoat bring back the memory of François I and Queen Claude of France.

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