Loire chateaux

ObelixxObelixx Posts: 10,656

3 days spent visiting a few chateaux in the Loire region.  Too many pics to load so here are some links.

All these chateaux were built on the site of old fortresses and vastly modified in the French Rennaissance style with grounds combining fine trees alongside formal planted spaces where man (or woman) is in control of nature.

Ussé - inspiration for the tale of Sleeping Beauty by Charles Perrault (1697) and also for Disney's drawings for the film.   Privately owned and being gradually restored using visitor fees as funding.   Beautiful rooms and lots of Flemish tapestries and, of course, a tower full of scenes from Sleeping Beauty.


Chenonceau - home of the king's favourite mistress,Diane de Poitiers, and then Catherine de Medici after Henry died.  Both made gardens as well as huge additions to the chateau which started as a fortress and water mill.


Amboise - home to many French kings during the 100 years war.  Stunning location high up on the banks of the Loire.  Leonardo da Vinci is buried here after serving as 1st painter and engineer to Francis I.   


Clos Lucé - the home given to Leonardo where he did a bit of painting but mostly worked on inventions for water management - locks, canals - and military engineering such as swing bridges, the first tank, flying machines and so on.   The grounds are planted to reflect his theories on light and shade in perspective and water as well as showing models of his work and major paintings.


Azay-le-Rideau - a little gem built on an island in the Indre river.   Beautiful chateau with one room having a display of dining room automatons plus sweeping grounds with fine trees and a small flower garden in what used to be the potager


 Great trip and so many more chateaux still to see......

The Vendée, France


  • Joyce21Joyce21 Posts: 11,328

    Thank you for the tour Obelixx.

    So much of interest that I will be doing further viewings.

    SW Scotland
  • Hostafan1Hostafan1 Posts: 14,703

    All the nicer for not being rammed with visitors. 


  • ObelixxObelixx Posts: 10,656

    They were all quite busy Hosta and Chenonceau's car park is huge and was quite full.  However, there is room to spread out and see everything.

    Every chateau we saw had rooms hung with Flemish tapestries but some rooms had fabric hung like wallpaper tho I preferred the ones where the stone and brick were visible.  Stunning masonry and engineering in all of them.   Tiny beds!   Great kitchen at Chenonceau.

    Next time I shall visit Chaumont and Villandry, both known for their gardens;

    The Vendée, France
  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 19,762

    Gorgeous Obelixx. I love the architecture - isn't it wonderful to be able to see, in the flesh, the final results of these highly skilled craftsmen? 

    I love that tapestry of the cockerel in your first set of pix. Stunning.

    Leonardo was so far ahead of his time, it's frightening. 

    I'd love the room to have a space like that topiarised, box ball, geometric slope. I'd need the time to maintain it too!

    to walk through a forest is to touch the past

  • ObelixxObelixx Posts: 10,656

    That cockerel was a Chinese embroidery panel.  There was a peacock too but nowhere near as lovely.

    Those box balls at Amboise were being clipped - bit late but then the French don't have Derby day - and looked good but some of those at Chenonceau had definite signs of blight which is going to be a major problem for that garden.  Fortunately, the maze is yew.

    Apparently Leonardo told the sultan he needed a bridge over the Bosphorous and drew up plans.  As we know, it wasn't built but that Eiffel chappy came across the plans and interpreted the design to build a bridge at Gabarit in the 1880s.  A wooden model has been built in the grounds of Clos Lucé - next to the Mona Lisa hanging in the trees.   

    The Vendée, France
  • GWRSGWRS Posts: 5,164

    Hello , had a holiday years ago  , before digital cameras , in Loire , only remember Lenardo place which was amazing

    Thanks for putting pictures on site  image

  • WonkyWombleWonkyWomble Posts: 2,411

    Thanks Obelixx, I love old buildings, seeing the bones of their construction, the feelings, the joists, and there are some amazing fireplaces! Really interesting pictures, thank you image

  • ObelixxObelixx Posts: 10,656

    Pleased you like them.  I do tend to look at structures in churches and chateaux and wonder at man's ingenuity and craftsmanship.  

    Amused to note that all those red roses in Leonardo de Vinci's home are the variety "Mona Lisa".  

    The Vendée, France
  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 19,762

    I'm the same obelixx - it's the craftsmanship and architecture/structure in general that I love.

    Have you watched the FL Wright prog yet? I think it was a repeat - I remember quite a few bits, but always worth watching again. He was astonishing. Like Leonardo, he was ahead of his time. I've always loved his work.  Who wouldn't want to live at Falling Water? image

    to walk through a forest is to touch the past

  • ObelixxObelixx Posts: 10,656

    Yes, watched it on Thursday evening.   I loved that house and the interiors of his Unitarian chapel too - but not the outside - and had no idea about the Johnson building.   Amazing spaces.   

    The Vendée, France
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