With over a hundred chateaus the Loire Valley is rich with thousands of years’ worth of architecture and art and it’s easy to see why it is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
One of the most beautiful is the Chateau de Chenonceau. It is built on the river Cher. It’s known as the chateau of women because of the many strong females that left their mark on this romantic home.
I loved the château a mixture of late Gothic and Renaissance styles. Walking through the two gorgeous gardens made me feel very aristocratic. The property also has a maze and a vegetable garden.
The most impressive of all the castles in Loire Valley is the Chateau De Chambord. It was built as a hunting lodge for King Francis I.
A fun fact about Francois I, when da Vinci died Francois purchased the Mona Lisa from da Vinci’s assistant. That’s why the Mona Lisa is in The Louvre today and not in Italy.
It’s absolutely huge, with 400 rooms, over 80 staircases, and 365 fireplaces. That’s one fireplace for every day of the year.
Chateau Clos Luce is a small chateau used by Francis I who invited da Vinci to stay and work there. Da Vinci remained at the chateau until his death in May 1519.
I took dozens of photos of this beautiful red door surrounded by the red roses. It is now a museum dedicated to the memory and inventions of the master artist and inventor.
I think the Château de Cheverny was my favorite. It is a perfect example of the French Classical style and is beautifully preserved and maintained. It is the only family-occupied chateau open to the public.
The decadent interiors are spectacular and I was amazed at how entire rooms were completely covered in Gobelin tapestries.
One of the most interesting events at the Chateau is the Cheverny Kennels that date back to 1850. The kennels have dozens of Fox Hounds that are still used in hunts. Their feeding is a spectacle that happens twice a day. The keeper fills troughs with their food and the hounds remain completely still until a signal is given and then it’s a feeding frenzy.