Chenonceau – discover the famous chateau des dames in Chenonceaux in the Loire Valley
Chenonceau – the castle is located in the commune of Chenonceaux in the region of Indre-et-Loire, in the region of La Loire. The castle has been classified as a historical monument since 1840. Chenonceau Castle is the expression used on the internet to search for the eponymous Loire chateau located in Chenonceaux.
It is nicknamed “the castle of the ladies” because of the many female characters who played a role of primary importance in the construction of the castle and its fame.
Since 1913, Chenonceau has belonged to the Menier family.
Chenonceau – Castle practical information
Visits to the Chateau de Chenonceau are only made by reservation on the official website of the Chateau de Chenonceau. Time slots are provided. You can have an audio guide on reservation.
Chenonceau is usually open from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. in low season, and from 9:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. in high season.
There are different rates – individual, family, group, or guide – which vary from 11 euros to 15 euros, depending on the situation. You can check these prices by booking on the official website of the Chateau de Chenonceau.
Chenonceau – Access
Access to the Château de Chenonceau is via the town of Chenonceaux and rue du Chateau, where there is a car park. The TER makes a stop at Chenonceaux.
The castle offers many services, including disabled access, facilities for families, and even pets are welcome. In addition to parking, with charging stations, the Chateau de Chenonceau has a shop with many souvenirs – some products are unique.
Events at the Chateau de Chenonceau
The Chenonceau estate regularly organizes events: the night of the castle, an oenological walk, night walks or walks under the stars, heritage days, etc…
Chenonceau Castle– History and anecdotes
The first part of the castle was built in the 12th century; however, it does not have an elevated bridge over the Cher. The castle is owned by the Marques family. It was in the 15th century that the castle was rebuilt and this time it is on the bank of the Cher.
The new castle
At the end of the 10th century, the castle was bought by an aristocratic family from Tours and, more precisely, by Thomas Bohier, a statesman close to the power of the monarchy. This is how Thomas Bohier and his wife, Katherine Briconnet, undertake important projects, starting with the demolition of the once used castle, and building the castle as it is today.
After the death of the owner of Chenonceau, the castle which was the property of Chenonceaux is handed over to the king. However, François I did not undertake any work at Chenonceau. It was at the time of the son of Henri II that things changed when he offered the Château de Chenonceau to his beloved Diane de Poitiers in 1547.
The Ladies’ Castle
Diana of Poitiers
In 1556, Diane de Poitiers decided to build a bridge to allow her to enjoy the gardens and the forest on the other side of the Cher. The construction was completed in 1559. The Château de Chenonceau Chenonceau was handed over to the French crown following the intervention of Catherine de Medici.
Catherine de Medici
A few years later, Catherine de Medici took charge of the construction of the gardens and the castle and organized events within the castle. Finally, it is to her that we owe the construction of the galleries in 1576, built at the top of the Pont de Diane, which give the Château de Chenonceau its unique appearance in the world. Catherine de Medici died in 1598 and left behind a number of debts and many unfinished works.
Louise of Lorraine
Louise de Lorraine, widow of King Henry III of France who was assassinated in 1598, became the owner of the castle and dressed the castle in black in response to the grief that overwhelmed it. This is why Louise de Lorraine is called “the white lady of Chenonceau”. Following financial difficulties, the castle became the property of César de Vendôme and Françoise de Lorraine after the death of Louise de Lorraine.
Mary of Luxemburg
After additional formalities, the castle was handed over to the Duchess of Mercoeur, Marie de Luxembourg, who began the renovation work in 1603. The Duchess died in 1623. From then on, various owners succeeded each other before Louis-Henri de Bourbon Conde sold the estate to Farmer General Claude Dupin in 1733.
Claude Dupin marries Louise de Fontaine who hosts a literary salon at the Château de Chenonceau where she can meet personalities from the Age of Enlightenment: Rousseau, Montesquieu, Voltaire, etc. In addition, the Dupin couple carried out numerous restoration works which gave Chenonceau its prestige of yesteryear.
The 19th century
Chateau Chenonceau underwent major transformations in the 19th century under the direction of the architect Félix Roguet, at the request of the new owner Marguerite Wilson, wife Pelouze. She also set up the Academy of Arts and Letters there. After many years of work and debts, the financial credit becomes the owner of the castle. It was then sold to the Terry family, then sold at auction in 1913, before being sold to the Menier family. During World War I the estate was used as a hospital for soldiers and was damaged during World War II.
The 20th century
The castle is currently under the control of the Menier family. In 2009, major restoration work was carried out.