I’ve been enamored with the idea of chateaus ever since I first learned what they are in my high school French class. My first visit to one (Versailles) this past spring left me absolutely breathless- I was SO inspired! The magnificence of the architecture, the sheer scale of it all, it’s a lot to take in.
As we were planning our trip from this past September, the only direction I gave Matt for planning our third stop was “it just needs to be in the Loire Valley!” I wanted to see another chateau, and I wanted him to be with me this time! We ended up staying in an adorable guest cottage in the town of Saint-Avertin, just outside of Tours. It took about 30 minutes to drive to Château de Chenonceau, but it was worth every second once we stepped out onto the long, tree-lined drive.
Chenonceau is quite a bit older than Versailles, so the architecture is from the Renaissance era, vs. Versailles, which is in the French Baroque style! If I had to choose, I think I prefer the decor & design of Versailles, but Chenonceau is still an incredible sight to behold. Especially with the view from the water!
All shot on the Contax 645, a mix of Fuji 400H & Portra 400, processed & scanned by The FIND Lab
Chenonceau straddles the River Cher, with the long gallery you’ll see below (the checkered marble floor) running the length of it. The kitchens and such were down in the arches just above the water- we passed through them on the little rowboat we rented! Totally worth the €7 for these photographs!
And a peek at what was the indoors
For any Reign fans out there, see this crest? It’s the crest of Henry II and Catherine de Medici- an H with two C’s intertwined. Ironic how the letters also seem to form a D, isn’t it? Henry’s mistress, Diane de Poitiers, was an enormous point of contention for Catherine (obviously)- Henry gifted Chenonceau to Diane, knowing that Catherine wanted it for herself. So upon Henry’s death, Catherine forced her to return ownership of the château to the crown.
To see my photos from the Château de Versailles, go here!
To see more of my fine art travel photography, go here!