The Chenonceau Castle is situated in the commune of Chenonceaux in the Indre-et-Loire department, 230 kilometres south-west of Paris and 30 Kilometres from Tours. It is one of the jewels of the Loire Valley Castles. It is often called the "château des Dames" or "ladies’ château" because it was built, managed and protected by some extraordinary women. Chenonceau was built in 1513 by Katherine Briçonnet, embellished by Diane de Poitiers (who was a favourite of the French King Henri II) and later by Catherine de Medicis.
Further on in history, it was protected during the French Revolution by Louise Dupin. This castle stands out from the others because of its gardens, its architecture, its decoration but above all because of its position astride the river Cher in which it is reflected. It contains some thirty rooms each more amazing than the last.
The Hall with its rib vaulted ceiling; The 60 m long Gallery overlooking the river; The Green Study from which Catherine of Medicis governed France; The Bedroom of Louise de Lorraine decorated like a tomb! Even the kitchens are breath-taking, having been organised around the huge pillars which actually support the château and having direct access to the river to facilitate the delivery of supplies.
The castle houses a collection of exceptional paintings by Ancient Masters: Tintoretto, Nicolas Poussin, Correggio, Rubens.....as well as a number of sixteenth-century Flanders Tapestries. As for the gardens which punctuate your visit to the château: the Diane de Poitiers and Catherine de Medicis gardens, the labyrinth, all together represent the pinnacle of the beauty of the garden “à la française”. Our Paris City vision guides invite you on a one day visit to the Loire Valley Castles including a tour of Chenonceau.