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......