The Château de Chenonceau, Loire Valley
The current château was built in 1514–1522 on the foundations of an old mill and was later extended to span the Cher river.
in 1547, Henry II offered the château as a gift to his mistress, Diane de Poitiers, who became fervently attached to the château along the river. In 1555 she commissioned Philibert de l'Orme to build the arched bridge joining the château to its opposite bank. Diane then oversaw the planting of extensive flower and vegetable gardens along with a variety of fruit trees
After King Henry II died in 1559, his strong-willed widow and regent Catherine de' Medici forced Diane to exchange it for the Château Chaumont. Queen Catherine then made Chenonceau her own favorite residence, adding a new series of gardens.
As Regent of France, Catherine spent a fortune on the château and on spectacular nighttime parties. In 1560, the first ever fireworks display seen in France took place during the celebrations marking the ascension to the throne of Catherine's son Francis II.
FranceTravelLoire ValleymedievalEuropecastleChenonceauboatChateaumedieval FranceCher riverDiane de PoitiersCatherine de'Medici