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    Chateau de Vendôme

    by gwened Written Apr 17, 2014

    an older castle most in ruins and now use for expositions,exhibits but still very quaint in the city and with great views over it and beyond.
    From the tourist office:
    The first fortification, built in the 11th century, was a quadrangular keep at the north-west tip of the rocky promontory (outside the park we see today, in aprivate property called "La Capitainerie"). The medieaval enclosure dated from the 12th century and some of its walls can still be seen today. The main Poitiers Tower still dominates the old layout by its sheer size. It was strenghtened in the 14th century. The Dukes of Vendôme lost interest in the castle and it became Crown property in 1712 but it did not receive any more care as a result. In 1791, the castle's ruin was ensured when it was sold off the several awners. The majestic cedar tree planted in 1807 is a symbol of its revival as a public park. The collapse of a tower and part of the outer wall in March 2001 explains the position of the ruins today, halfway down the grassy slope.

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    Church abbey de la Trinité-Vendôme

    by gwened Written Apr 17, 2014

    One of the most impressive churches in the area, and full of history passing by in the valley of the kings many overlook Vendôme but they should not. The church of the Trinity is fantastics for its architecture, and history.

    a bit of history
    On the rocky promontory on the south side of the city lies the primitive keeps of the Château de Vendôme. It probably succeeded in the 11C a Roman castrum, itself preceded by a Gallic oppidum. The Abbey of the Trinity founded in 1032AD and mark the event of Geoffroy Martel, son of Fulkes Nerra, count of Anjou, marking the beginning of the Angevin political influence on the County of Vendôme.
    During the second half of the 12C, the city passed in turn to the hands of Henri II Plantagenêt and Philippe Auguste. The territorial issue of do not stop and brings, without doubt, during the 14C, the counties of Vendôme and Blois to delineate their respective areas.

    Indeed, in 1458, in the Castle, Charles VII does draw a "lit de justice". The Duke of Alençon Jean II de Valois was sentenced for collusion with the English. In allowing this Court, County Jean VIII thus brand loyalty and support to the King.

    The Abbot Odéric is the first in 1066AD to obtain the title of cardinal. This link direct and privileged of the Abbey towards the papacy remained until the Revolution. The Abbot Geoffroy Ier (Abbot from 1093 to his death) says the influence of the Abbey, including by his decisive action during the controversial investiture. It allows the Pope Urban II to resume his position.This power is not without regularly create tensions with the counts of Vendôme, which are settled by agreement in 1185.
    In 1188, Bouchard IV de Vendôme took the town, the Castle and the English garrison at Philippe Auguste as soon as the first assault. In August of the same year, Richard the Lion heart resides in Vendôme.In 1194, the King of France returned again invade the city and besiege the Castle but he must lift the siege before the arrival of Richard. The clash between the two armies took place on 5 July 1194 at Fréteval and Philippe Auguste is defeated and flees, leaving its archives in the battle.

    All on the spot of the old abbey church. Monks of St. Maur to military headquarters Rochambeau:In the 17C, mauristes Benedictines settled in the Abbey. The southern wing of the cloister is the most remarkable building in their work. In 1791 after the revolutionary sale of monastic property, the three wings and the Church are attributed to the municipality. As early as 1803, the military occupy this former monastery. Horse riding, stables and barracks eventually complete this important area of cavalry which takes the name of Rochambeau district in 1886. The 1914-1918 conflict decimated the troops of the 20th horse chasseurs but the military vocation continues with the mounted police.Nowadays, the buildings around the Cloister House Museum, the school of music, and some cultural associations. The Court is the place of free concerts in the summer.

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    The Faience of Gien

    by gwened Written Apr 17, 2014

    One of the best in the world and right in castle country, its a must if only to see their museum. Boutique store on site. a bit of history

    It is in 18212 that English industrialist Thomas Edme Hulm, said "Hall" as his father, having sold the manufacture of Montereau run by his family since 1774, acquires the land and buildings of the former convent of the Minimes to install a new factory of faience, English style,regaining world fame. Gien faïence developed the technique of cloisonné enamels, born at Longwy in Lorraine, around 1870.

    The most famous inspirations, include many decorations:
    • those so-called "Gien" bottomed brown black or blue majolica decor 'Italian Renaissance' with its tendrils, his loves and his chimeras, etc. inspired particularly by productions of Faenza, Urbino or Savona;
    • those so-called ' way, inspired by the porcelain of Saxony, in the form of floral decorations, musical attributes, loves or cherubs finely drawn in medallions foliage, in a cameo of pink or purple but also enhanced with Parma lavender blue;
    • those so-called "the horn", "mantling" and "ironwork", inspired by the productions of the earthenware of Rouen auxviiie century;
    • rural or maritime landscapes inspired earthenware of Marseilles;
    • The so-called China "English" inspired by Wedgwood earthenware, in the form of models to the tone of bluish white and purple blue.
    • Blue and white, shades inspired earthenware of Delft on the theme of large open flowers, peacocks, branches, or Chinese scenes.
    • the lavish polychrome from the far East.

    The company has a museum situated inside de la Faïencerie. You can admire a collection of fine earthenware pieces made by the factory between 1820 and 1920, as well as the reconstitution of a dining room dating from the 19C. Wonderful!!

    The tourist info on the city page of Gien in French
    http://www.gien.fr/decouvrir-gien.php?page=62

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    Chateau de Langeais

    by gwened Written Apr 3, 2014

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    one of the most emblematic castles in the Loire valley and one very much attach to my new home of Brittany.
    Anne de Bretagne, duchess of Brittany and two times queen of France,500 anniversary of her birth exhibition from April 11 to December 31 2014 for free with the price of admission to the castle,now at 9€ adult.

    The costumes and decorations are wonderful as Anne really dressed up and added many touches, see separate entry on her on my Bretagne page here.

    The site will tell you the basic info on admission,hours, events, collections, there, I am into the history of these wonderful properties and like to tell you about this one here

    The castle was built between 1465 and 1470, it presents an exemplary architectural coherence. Severe and imposing façade hides however a courtyard more refined that heralds the Renaissance. But its main attraction is the historical consistency of its interior. Far from wearing an abundant wealth, it makes us penetrate in a living world where luxury is synonymous with sobriety.

    Back in the park, ruins on 12 meters attract the eye of the visitor, giving us a glimpse of the historical importance of the castle since the 15C. it's the Dungeon of Foulques Nerra, one of the oldest remains of medieval fortifications in France. Outpost to defend the city of Tours, it dates from the end of the 10C, and takes its name from its sponsor, the count of Anjou Foulques Nerra III. It was destroyed by the English during the hundred years war, 1428.The construction of the present Castle began in 1465 on order of Louis XI. One of its functions is to monitor the Loire and defend the Touraine against attacks that would come from the West.

    However, on this side, the greatest threat is embodied in the person of the Duke of Brittany. From 6 December 1491, the Château de Langeais is found in the heart of the conflict between the Crown of France and the Duchy of Brittany. However, a war does not take place. Instead, Charles VIII marries Anne of Brittany, making the union of the Duchy and the realm of France.

    Businessman Jacques Siegfried bought it in 1886 and renovated the Interior to the taste of the 15C. In 1904, he confided to the Institut de France, which has always owned it. Located in a compact and imposing block in the heart of the small town of Langeais, the castle can be accessed through a drawbridge still in condition, framed by two massive towers. Punctuated by towers, with few openings, the fortress provides a sense of rigour to the military use of the middle ages. However, windows and skylights, the Interior façade give the site a lightness and finesse that better befits a place of residence.

    Beyond architecture, it is above all interior that holds the attention. Amazing work allows us to penetrate into the stately world of 15C. Period furnishings, woodwork and especially tapestries give each room or rooms amazing richness and consistency. Wandering freely from one room to another, the visitor has the feeling that these parts still welcome their guests regularly. They still contain rarities and treasures: one of the first wardrobes rebirth of one side, a Virgin and child from the 15C on the other at the ground floor, banquet room, flanked with a monumental fireplace, has particularly attracted attention. Just above, the the Wedding Hall or salle de marriages offers a re-enactment of the marriage of Charles VIII and Anne of Brittany.The third floor (4fl) give us a theme of this living environment to present two themed areas: the cabinet of sacred art brings together religious works including a 13C reliquary chasse. Finally, the valiant Knights room crowns the exceptional collection of tapestry of the Castle: under a beautiful frame keel-vaulted, a unique suite of 16C presents each of the Neuf Preux, symbols of the great chivalrous values. Finally, the chemin de ronde, who has the distinction of being covered, offers, along the facade, a beautiful view of the Loire Valley.

    description translated from the site of the loire chateaux
    http://loire-chateaux.org/Les-19-Chateaux-De-La-Loire/Chateau-De-Langeais/Acces-Et-Informations-Pratiques-Chateau-De-Langeais.html

    a wonderful beautiful castle with an intriguing history of Brittany. Go see it

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    Fortress castle of Chinon

    by gwened Updated Apr 3, 2014

    a historic castle of France with ties to England. A great encounter of Jeanne d'Arc with the heir later Charles VII in 1429 ,that gave the impetus to secure the expulsion of the English and the solidification of the French crown. Older photos before the renovation.

    The castle fortress is hanging literally over the city of Chinon, built by the count of Blois Thibaut Ier.

    A huge renovation project just finished giving it a wonderful look , the castle has 4 royal rooms or logis royaux, as representing four periods of the history of it such as Foulques IV, "le Réchin", Henri II Plantagenêt, Philippe Auguste , and Jeanne d’Arc. Each with projections and motifs of the period, beautifully done.

    A first floor (2nd) has two rooms showing the old museum of Jeanne d'Arc in the tour de l’Horloge. The history of the Saint from Domrémy to the burning at the cross passing by Chinon with objects of arts from the 18,19,20C, statues, bronzes, embroidery, etc as well.

    The exterior shows the towers or tours such as Boissy, le Coudray, Argenton and Chiens. They are fill with selected themes such as Joan of Arc, the Templars, the construction in the middle ages. The Royal rooms or logis house ...it houses the exhibition halls, ticket office and shop. The facade is treated in the continuity of the ramparts.

    a bit of history
    A castle is built no later than the 10C. Henri II Plantagenêt, count of Anjou and King of England from 1154, that will give the fortress its present silhouette by including a Palace out of fort St. George.In 1205, after a long siege, the King of France Philippe Auguste is master of the fortress and built several towers.In 1308, the site was the scene of a milestone in the history of the order of the Temple. Grand master Jacques de Molay and some high dignitaries of the order are incarcerated there, before being tried and burned in Paris.

    wonderful place now better than ever, with a salon de thé and boutique.admission is 8,5€ but see the official site for updates, as well as hours and dates. The tourist office
    http://www.ot-saumur.fr/FORTERESSE-ROYALE-DE-CHINON_a12141.html

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    Chateau Chaumont-sur-Loire

    by gwened Written Apr 2, 2014

    another wonderful castle and more old photos from my vault.

    Chaumont-sur Loire , the castle is famous for its flower festival, and of course the history. You have great restaurants Inside and a nice boutique for souvenirs.

    My take on these castles is the history behind them, so would like to tell them to you

    In the 10th century, Eudes 1, count of Blois, established a fortress to protect Blois from attacks by Foulques Nerra, count of Anjou. The Norman Knight Gelduin receives Chaumont and is consolidating the fortress. His son and successor Geoffroy, childless, chooses to heiress his small niece, Denise de Fougères, married in 1054 Sulpice of Amboise 1. The Castle thus enters the Amboise family for five centuries. king Louis XI made burned and destroyed Chaumont in 1465 to punish Pierre D'amboise's revolted against the royal power during the "League of the public well being". Shortly thereafter, its land are returned to him. Then his son, Charles I, and his grandson, Charles II, rebuild the Castle from 1468 to 1510. Queen Catherine de Medici bought Chaumont in 1550 and sells the castle to Diane de Poitiers on the death of Henry II. At the end of the 16C, the castle became the property of Henri la Tour D'Auvergne and then under Henri IV, the estate escheats to Paul de Beauvilliers, Duke of Saint-Aignan. In 1739, Chaumont was purchased by Nicolas Bertin de Vaugyen, Maître des requêtes to the parlement de Paris. In 1750, Jacques Donatien le Ray, future intendant of Louis XVI disabled, buys Chaumont. He managed to preserve the castle to the revolution and received Benjamin Franklin. In 1810, Germaine de Staël stayed, received by Jacques Donatien , who sold the castle in 1823 to the baron of Etchegoyen. In the 19C, the Castle belonged successively to the count of Aramon, vicomte Joseph Walsh and then the prince and the Princess Henri - Amédée de Broglie.

    In March 1875, Marie-Charlotte Constance Say , with a fortune comparable to that of the Rothschild, acquired the Castle and the area of Chaumont. A few months after, she married prince Henri - Amédée de Broglie. Therefore the princely couple has not ceased to expand and beautify the area. Built in 1877 the stables. In 1884, the park landscape surrounding the Castle is done.
    In 1903, the de Broglie ordered a model farm plans combining rationalization and modernization, work which will last ten years without to be completed. In 1917, the Domaine de Chaumont is multiplied practically by 2.5 passerby so 2500 hectares through acquisition of wood, closed and lands with the creation of a network of forest paths of 33 miles. Many financial setbacks (crack Crosnier in 1905, death of the prince of Broglie in 1917, stock crack of 1929, remarriage of the Princess with the Infante of Spain, Louis Ferdinand of Orleans and Bourbon) oblige the Princess to divide his estate from 1930 and to separate multiple objects of art. In 1938,, ruined, ceded the field reduced to 21 hectares (Castle, stables, a landscaped park closed model) to the State . Since 2007, the field of Chaumont belongs to Centre government.

    admission adult is 10,50€ check the weppage for the latest info on prices and hours.

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    Chateau de Valençay

    by gwened Written Apr 2, 2014

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    This one been long time ago,and can't find enough photos but just to show it must be visited when in the area.

    The castle has a very nice architecture style from renaissance to classical, and it was the property of the one and only Charles-Maurice de Talleyrand-Périgord for 30 years.
    Valençay has very nice decoration in marble, portraits, and arts as well as a rich furniture. The rooms or salons and private apartments offers you a rich diverse look at the splendor of the castles of the Loire, and the Château de Valençay is certaintly one.

    a bit of history I like to tell
    There is history of a castle here since 1026AD ; the castle or château de Valençay is in the town of Valençay, and it was the property of the house or Maison d'Estampes from 1451 to 1747, then the prince of Talleyrand.
    In 1803 the sale is done to Talleyrand,in 1902 the last of the dukes of Talleyrand-Valençay had closed the windows of the gallery of arcades in the court of honor, where the portraits of the ancestors of Talleyrand,were done in 1810 by the painter Joseph Chabord (1786-1848), student of Regnault, and author of two other equestrian paintings of Napoleon 1er.

    From 1808 to December 1813, Ferdinand VII of Spain his brother don Carlos, his uncle don Antonio, were assigned to residence under the supervision of the Berthemy Knights. The Treaty of Valençay, which was signed on the night of 10 to 11 December 1813, then gave him the Crown of Spain and the three princes returned to their country on 12 March 1814. Their memory is evoked by "the House of the King of Spain", maison du roi d'Espagne a covered Alley near the Castle, and one act of baptism dated June 23, 1810, kept in the parish archives that bears their signatures and imprecise date in the 19C, in the parish church by a Saint-Ferdinand surrounded in the arms of Castile and León ,given by the King to the priest during his departure but who, burned by a candle placed too close, was then replaced by a copy of the painter Jobbé-Duval.

    Talleyrand, who returned to live there from 1816, was Councillor Alderman and Mayor of Valençay. did many things to help the castle and the local town. Including a house to help the poor,and sick, Talleyrand, who was interested in the work of the nuns, frequently visited what was called "the House of charity", and there led its guests, including David Bishop, Archbishop of Bourges, the Duke of Orléans. By a codicil to his will of March 9, 1837, Talleyrand, who died a year later, ensured the perpetuity of the establishment, and expressed the desire to be buried and to this effect had a large crypt under the choir of the chapel of the free school.

    During World War II, the Castle houses a part of the works of the Museum of the Louvre, including the ancient statuary, the Cabinet of drawings and the Crown jewels. They escaped the destruction on August 16, 1944, where the 2nd SS division Das Reich invests the city in retaliation for the killing by the rebels, two nazis soldiers on the edge of the forest surrounding the Castle.The Duke of Talleyrand, availing itself of its German title of Duke of Sagan, and especially Gérald Van der Kemp, future Chief Curator of Versailles, talk with the Nazis so that they save the Castle and its irreplaceable artistic content, which they came to realise. Without direct descendents, the last Duke of Valençay, Boson, bequeathed his possessions to Jean Morel, son of his third wife, who sold the castle in 1979 to an association including the Department of Indre and the commune of Valençay. The former Orangery (1785) has long housed a Talleyrand Museum today disappeared, the objects and furniture have been relocated to the Castle. At the same time, the former manege, where Boson de Talleyrand-Valençay parked his personal plane, hosted a car Museum. The ride was dismantled to be replaced by the Grand labyrinth of Napoleon and the automobile Museum is now situated avenue de la Résistance, in a former supermarket located near Valençay train station on land donated by the Talleyrand. Many books from the library, acquired before 1935 by Count Moïse de Camondo, are preserved at the Musée Nissim de Camondo in Paris.

    The area of the Park, which has a cooler, is a forty hectares.The French garden dates from the beginning of the 20C and a part of the land has been transformed into a wildlife park. Just lovely, another castle. Admission is about 12€ but check the site for the current update as well as hours it can be read in English as well. Inside it has a restaurant and a boutique store for souvenirs.

    this is their old webpage as they are working on a new one I have in contact section
    http://www.chateau-valencay.fr/index.php/fr/

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    Chateau de Chambord

    by gwened Written Mar 30, 2014

    this is the beauty in oversize proportions, sitting like a city in the middle of a vast park. It even has a village attached not far as Chambord ville.

    The counts of Blois built a small cottage here in the forest of Boulogne and François I from 1518 ask to erase this cottage and built a bigger one. Even Leonardo De Vinci had something to do with the designs. even in periods of little money, wars and ransom o fhis two son, the project continue. They briefly stop in 1524-25 when the defeat at Pavia, Italy. the initial building has 117 by 156 meters.It was finally finished in 1545.

    Henri II added the west wing and the tour of the chapel,even after his death in 1559,the work is still unfinished. François II and Charles IX come here for hunting trips, then Louis XIII starts the habits of Kings coming here, and Louis XIV had nine visits between 1660 and 1685.

    Moliére does the work of "Monsieur de Pourceaugnac" here that finally conquered Louis XIV liking the work.

    In 1809, Napoléon I gave it to Berthier, prince of Wagram but he does not take care of the property and left it abandoned. The sale is by public auction in 1821 and the buyer is the duke of Bordeaux, heir to the Crown.

    The biggest even in France history happened here on the affair of the chapeau blanc or white flag (1871-1873) ;Henri, count of chambord and heir to the throne of France after the death of his grandfather Charles X try to get the crown of France from here. ON July 5 1871 he proclaimed his convictions of doing this as never to abandoned the white flag of Henri IV. After these declaration the count of Chambord is force to leave to Austria, therefore Henri V never ruled France, died in 1883. the castle passes to his nephew ,the duke of Parma. IN 1932, the State of France buys from the heritageowners for the sum of 11 millions francs. It is still managed by the regional government.

    You can visit its vast domaine but prinicipaly do not missed the Cour d'honneur, escalier or stairs of double revolution, creation of Leonard de Vinci, the appartments in street level and first floor with its huge collection of tapestries Flemish and French. IN the first floor, you see the apartment of François I by the north tower of the building,his cabinet, room of the queen, apartment of the king, ,salle de gardes or troop of the king room, apartment of the dauphin or son heir, these full of arms , trophies, paintings, engravings and tapestries.

    It has a gorgeous terrace, similar to that of Saumur, underneath the terrace you see the stairs or escalier in one direction, ending with a spacious room of 32 sqmeters. The parc is inmense, it has been name a hunting ground preserve from 1948, the biggest wall of France 32 kms around it with five archdoors that gives way to the automobile routes. As well as the stables of the marshal Saxe, in its ruins there is now a beautiful specacle retracing the history of the castle, the renaissance, and the counts of Chambord.

    Its one of the must to visit castles in the loire, region Centre. In addition this is the region tourism office
    http://www.bloischambord.co.uk/discover/our-castles/domaine-national-de-chambord-en

    the détails on prices, hours etc better to check the links for the latest news.the bus 18 takes you from Blois from April to September ,otherwise is a taxi about 30 minutes but never taken it. I come by car.
    http://www.transports-du-loir-et-cher.com/telechargement/H%20Ligne%2018.pdf

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    Chateau Azay-le-Rideau

    by gwened Written Mar 28, 2014

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    a wonderful example of the Renaissance style castles and its on the Loire. All the up to date visiting information is on the link in contact from France national monument.
    and the mayor's office site has a nice video presentation of it
    http://www.azaylerideau.fr/vie-culturelle/le-chateau-d-azay-le-rideau.html

    I use my car but those in public transport can come on the line from Tours with local trains TER.
    Described by Balzac who came to lunch once, as "a diamond cut faceted crimped by the Indre", Azay le Rideau is one of the most famous castles of the Loire.

    outside it looks like a logis or manor mansion house, Inside its pure Italian renaissance. Inside you have:
    You have a white bedroom or "chambre blanche", furnished from the 17C, and tapestries with scènes of hunting from the 17C ;
    the bedroom blue or « chambre bleue », at second floor (1st Fl) that houses once king Louis XIII. with cabinets and scènes in ivory showing the war of the 30years. ;
    The Library or bibliothèque has a chimney with a nice mural with engraving and designs showing restaurations done by Biencourt ;
    The dining room or salle à manger ; glass from the 16C and 17C with royal portraits of the renaissaince and one of Diane de Poitiers done in the shop of king François Ier, portrait of duke and duchess of Longueville, portrait of Mary of austria,sister of Charles V, and another of Catherine de Médicis. It has a monumental chimney decorated with a salamander ;
    the royal apartments or appartements royaux, with a room where you see the portraits of kings of France like François Ier, Henri III or Louis XIII, and wall tentures in red and gold with the big royal bedroom decorated with tapestries from the 17C ;
    the big room or grande salle in the first floor ( 2nd Fl) decorated with tapestries of the 16C and 17C with a chimney the wall painted in blue;
    the Spanish Cabinet or Cabinet espagnol of the 16C and another Portuguese of the 17C ;
    the huge cuisine with a big vault ceiling with wooden support on the ceilings restored in the 19C and a chimney with the emblem of Berthelot.
    the room of the master or chambre du maître de maison, furnished and tapestries from the 16C;
    the pool room or salle de billard, nice furniture from the 19C and a chimney of the 16C with an original design of that of the Château de Montal (Lot). Tapestries of Beauvais from the 18C and hunting of ducks and deers.

    there is a castle here since 1119AD, the first Sirs of the site of Ridel (or Rideau) d'Azay, cavalry of king Philippe Auguste, who has built a fortress to defend the route between Tours and Chinon.
    Burned by king Charles VII in 1418, when the current Château was built between 1518 and 1523 by the Mayor of Tours and Treasurer of the King François Ier, Gilles Berthelot and his wife, Philippa Lesbahy; It is one of the masterpieces of the French Renaissance ,chateau will be actually occupied that 1547. In 1791 onwards the Castle 'abandoned and very degraded' is sold by Henry de Courtemanche to the marquis Charles de Biencourt (1747-1824), page of the stables of the Queen in 1761, Field Marshal and Royal armies, Deputy of the nobility to the States-General of 1789 ,and then of the constituent Assembly; his descendants will retain ownership until 1899.
    In 1898, ruined by the stock market crash of the General Union of 1882 and can no longer ensure the maintenance of the domain, his son Charles-Marie-Christian (1826-1914) 4th Marquess and owner since 1862, young widower and having lost his two sons, is forced to sell this heritage; as a first step he sells furniture and works of art contained in the chateau. They were able to repurchase some of the furniture and collections, which later allowed the viscountess of Montaigne de Poncins, great-granddaughter of the marquis de Biencourt to bring them back,
    In 1939 much of it is sold to the Musée Condé de Chantilly 52 portraits drawn by the Corneille de Lyon, Holbein, Memling, Pourbus, Cranach, Rubens, Stella, etc. Furthermore the Louvre Museum preserves two chests made of carved wood, which dated from the 16C, the Castle

    Mr. Arteau sold the State the Castle in 1905, and part of the park A year later was created by decree a "national Museum of art of the Renaissance", under the dual responsibility of the curator Xavier de Ricard and architect Jean Hardion. Since 1907, the castle was the object of important restorations.

    a Wonder property to see ,a must

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    Chateau de Rigny Ussé

    by gwened Written Mar 28, 2014

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    who ever heard of the sleeping beauty ? well this is it. the story is told here and plenty of rooms with scenes from it. I go by car the best way in the region, although you can go to Tours and get transport to there never done it on public transport so let you do the google thing if not personal experience.

    the hours, prices are here in English
    http://www.chateaudusse.fr/EN/acces.html

    you have gardens, cellars, stables,and dungeons as well as the sleeping beauty rooms and others like the Salle des Gardes, salon Vauban, ancienne cuisine, grande galerie, grand escalier,antichambre and the chambre du roi as the most interesting to see. You ,also, have a church outside Notre Dame very nice.

    as it is to me with some photos from my vault, its history I like to visit these places so here it is in a nutshell.
    This is another old village from prehistoric times, and it was already known in the 6C as Ucerum. The castle at Ussé held a strategic place on the road to Chinon and the navigation in the Loire and Indre.

    The first known Lord of Ussé was in 1004 the viking chieftain Guelduin Ier de Saumur (known as the devil of Saumur), Lord of Saumur, Ussé and Pontlevoy, wearing the colours of the County of Blois Thibeut II and then Eudes II. He built the first wooden fortress. His son Guelduin II launched in 1040 building stone of a first castle. In 1099, Olivier of Ussé is the Lord of the region
    .
    by the end of 1424, Jean V de Bueil, count of Sancerre, seigneur of Ussé and captain of the King, family from Tours, had built the basic structure of the current Castle. He died in 1477.
    His son Antoine, seigneur of Ussé in 1456, married in 1462 Jeanne de Valois, daughter of Charles VII and Agnès Sorel. In the 1460s, he undertook the reconstruction of the castle in the style of the 15th century. Overindebted, Antoine de Bueil sells Ussé to Jacques of Espinay in 1485.

    Of Breton origin, Jacques of Espinay is the son of a Chamberlain of Francis II of Brittany. He himself becomes Chamberlain of Kings Charles VIII and Louis XII. He continues the work of the Castle and founded in 1521 the collegiate church, destined to become the Funeral Chapel of his family. Their son René succeeds them in 1534. The Chapel, dedicated to Sainte-Anne, is consecrated August 11, 1538. Itself riddled with debts, Rene sold the castle in 1557 to Suzanne de Bourbon. Daughter Suzanne of Bourbon, Louise de Rieux, brings the castle to her husband René de Lorraine, marquis of Elbeuf. Still by marriage, Ussé passes then to Henri de Savoie, Duke of Nemours, who died in 1620.

    After a succession of owners the castle is acquired in 1659 by Thomas Bernini, marquis de Valentinay, a Secretary of the King; It is in 1664 made it build the gardens and we have written proof of this. In September 1700, the Châtellenie of Ussé was erected in marquisate for king Louis II. Controller General of the Maison du Roi, Louis Bernini de Valentinay married in January 1691 Jeanne-Françoise Le Prestre de Vauban, died November 14, 1713, second daughter of the Marshal of France. They have three children: Louis, marquis of Ussé, and two daughters including the youngest will be religious in Sainte-Marie-de-Saint-Denis. Vauban will also come several times to the Castle and several fortification plans were carried out here. He is the builder of the "Italian" construction look of the castle ,and the terraces of the Castle, as well as the so-called alley of the jumpers.

    Voltaire would have stayed there and wrote part of La Henriade. In 1780, the descendants of Louis Bernini de Valentinay sell the Castle, passing in 1807 to the Duras family. The Lebanon Cedar brought from Holy land in 1817 by Châteaubriant for girlfriend Claire de Kersaint, wife of the Duke of Duras, are still visible near the chapel. The writer there would have written a part of the memories of Outre-Tombe. king Louis XVIII gave to the Lords a portrait, still hung on the wall of the staircase. The last of the Duras transmit the castle to his great-nephew the Duke of Blacas, whose descendants remained owners.

    a unique piece of history and still in descendants hands !!! a must in the region.

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    Chateau de Beauregard

    by gwened Updated Mar 28, 2014

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    one of the emblematic castles of the loire but somehow not as popular as the others;the story, the location,and the interiors are superb. trying to dig my old photos for VT;bear with me.

    Old hunting chalet king François I, Beauregard has a unique Gallery of 327 portraits of its illustrious personage in its 315 year history. If that is not enough to start you on the history of France, the garden of 40ha has more of portraits to discovered created by Gilles Clément (creator, also, of Parc André Citroën in Paris), one of the largest rose gardens of the Val de Loire and the many botanical collections. Not to mention the golden eggs chicken and sheep killers of wolves! Free tracks games for small and bicycle rental in the Park.

    The Gallery of portraits is the symbol of the Château de Beauregard. Acquired in 1545 by Jean du Thier, who built the current building. In 1617, Paul Ardier, Minister of Kings becomes the master of the House and began the decoration of the Gallery of portraits. In total, the Gallery collects 327 portraits, and scans the history national and international policy between 1328 and 1643. Not less than 26 nationalities are represented. The Château de Beauregard is owned by the family of the original owners 1925.

    visiting info is all here
    http://www.beauregard-loire.com/index.php/en/informations-pratiques/visites-guidees-libres

    it is located at Celettes not far from Cheverny and Blois.on the road D956, as I come by car, you get on the A10 exit Blois and follow direction "Châteauroux-Vierzon. you will see a small panel on the road 956 to turn right into a long tree terrain road until you see the castle , the village is name Cellettes.

    for information to visitors:
    By train you come to Blois or to Tours changing at Orléans
    BUS: Castles shuttle bus - line 18, from the train station in Blois on websites
    www.route41.fr or www.TLCinfo.net

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    Cathédrale Saint Maurice,Angers

    by gwened Written Mar 27, 2014

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    another wonderful cathedral of the Loire and France.the parish site in French is here
    http://catholique-angers.cef.fr/Cathedrale-Saint-Maurice-Notre-Dame

    This is a good size Church, such as
    90 meters long with a high of the nave dome of 16 meters (like at Chartres), and towers of 75 meters,the nave is 48 meters long.

    a bit of history
    At the beginning of the 11C, Bishop Hubert of Vendôme (1006-1047) had built a new Romanesque cathedral with a single nave, which was consecrated August 16, 1025. But just completed, this building burned down in 1032. The Bishop Geoffroyde Tours gave the Cathedral a facelift during the second half of the 11C. The altar of the crucifix was blessed in 1051 and the new high altar was consecrated in 1096.

    Shortly after the bishops Renaud de Martigné (1102-1125) and Ulger (1125-1148) undertook the reconstruction of this place of worship. It was gradually fought under the leadership of bishops Normand of Doué (1148-1153) and Guillaume of Beaumont (1202-1240). Normand de Doué and Guillaume de Beaumont did rebuild the nave, as well as the monumental portal to face the courtyard. The single nave was inspired by those of the Cathedral of Angoulême and the Abbey of Fontevraud.

    The basic structures of the walls of the nave, Romanesque style, have survived up to half. They received in the middle of the 12C the columns and arches of warheads: this is the birth of the angevin Gothic. The Romanesque nave to single ship opens on a transept and a Gothic choir - the latter was built in eave on the late antique city walls.

    In the 16C, the angevin architect Jean Delespine added at the base of the towers, Gallery of characters representing Knights, companions of St. Maurice. On this gallery, he made, in Renaissance style, a second level, having the appearance of a square tour surmounted a hexagonal Pinnacle. Angers Cathedral consists of two arrows: the North was built in 1518 and the southern in 1523.

    In 1806, it was destroyed because of obsolescence, a monumental porch which stood in front of the Cathedral, facing the courtyard. This porch, Gothic angevin, placed before the portal of entry, had two levels. Still today, four arches of warhead, only remains of this former medieval porch. Various reconstruction projects were developed during the 20C, but none of them came about.

    one of the must see in the city. Enjoy it

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    Hotel Groslot

    by gwened Updated Mar 21, 2014

    Beautiful building full of history and very near the Cathedral go see it. It is from the 16C, it was the mayor's office then finally a place to held marriages.

    The Groslot family were rich merchant and did a beautiful building visited over the years by kings François II, Charles IX , as well as the regent Catherine de Médicis.

    Hotel Groslot was built from 1530 to 1550 for the financier i Jacques Groslot. It was the Hôtel de Ville from 1790, the interior was restored in 1850. Today you can walk the beautiful rooms such the Salon d’Honneur,salle des Gardes, and the old Salle du Conseil Municipal, old office of the mayor or bureau du Maire ,and the room or salle des Mariages (where king François II, came with Catherine de Médicis, his mother, and married Marie Stuart, preside the general assembly or Etats Généraux (1560). Charles IX, Henri III, and Henri IV were ,also, visitors/hosts. YOu can see many souvenirs of Jeanne d’Arc, as well as quality tiles, tapestries of Aubusson ,and furniture.

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    The gardens of Chenonceau

    by gwened Written Mar 5, 2014

    well you could not really stop writing about chenonceau the castle; found some garden photos so there they are.

    The garden of Diane de Poitiers, whose entry is controlled by the House of the Commissioner: the Chancery, built in the 16C; at the foot of which lies a pier, with a vine.

    At its centre lies a water jet. A surprising design for its time, the water jet springs from a big cut accordingly pebble and falls 'in Jet' to a pentagonal receptacle of white stone.
    This garden is protected from flooding the Cher by elevated terraces from which there are beautiful views on flower beds and the Castle.

    The garden of Catherine de Médicis is more intimate, with a central basin, and faces the side West of the Castle.
    Decoration flower gardens, renewed in the spring and summer, requires the establishment of 130,000 seedlings of flowers grown on the estate.

    Very nice strolls indeed and a wonderful view of the castle from all angles.

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    Chateau d'Anet

    by gwened Updated Jan 9, 2014

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    in the small village of Anet lies a wonderful castle with lots of history of France, and where Diane de Poitiers lives her last years and is still buried in the castle; a favorite of king Henri II for 20 years . See my tip on Chenonceau for the bedroom of Diane there.

    You visit the castle April 1 to October 31 every day except Tuesdays from 14h To 18h. NOvember 1 to November 30 and February 1 to March 31 only the weekends from 14h to 17h

    more history
    In 1547, Diane de Poitiers, widow of Louis de Brézé, Grand Sénéchal de Normandie, starts the construction of the castle. Five years it took to do it .
    In 1566,Diane de Poitiers died at Anet . According to her wishes, and to house her tomb inside, her daughter Louise de Brézé, Duchesse d'Aumale had built a funeral chapel.
    In the 17C, the castle passes to the dukes de Vendôme that makes great works of renovation, such as the stair of honors built in 1680 as well as the Pavillon du Gouvernement .
    In the 18C, the Duchesse du Maine, then the Duke de Penthièvre do great works of renovation and upkeep in the castle . The French revolution and the years that followed were to abandon and eliminate the work on the castle. It was confiscated, sold as national property, stone by stone put in big bags for grinding, the main body and a part of the right wing were destroyed.
    From 1840, the renovation took effect again, five generations of property owners belonging to the same family have succeeded in making it grand again, and bringing back one of the jewels of French architecture .

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