After a week of enjoying Parisian sights and hang outs, we rented a Peugeot 308 and are off to explore the rest of France. Our first stop – Loire valley – known for its fine wine :), beautiful châteaux and great weather.
There are hundreds of châteaux here, advertised every couple miles on signs along the road with a picture of the building. Many châteaux started life as defensive castles in the middle ages and were rebuilt into luxurious palaces by the french aristocracy.
The royal Château de Chambord at Chambord, Loir-et-Cher, France is one of the most recognizable châteaux in the world because of its very distinct French Renaissance architecture that blends traditional French medieval forms with classical Italian structures.
It was constructed by King François I in part to be near to his mistress the Comtesse de Thoury.
An image of the Château de Chambord is used in the Microsoft Windows computer operating system as one of the standard wallpaper selections. It is referred to in the selection list as simply “Chateau”. [wikipedia] ( follow the “read more” below or VIEW PHOTOS HERE )
The Château de Chantilly
CHÂTEAU DE CHENONCEAU
Catherine de Médicis, the queen consort of King Henry II of France from 1547 to 1559 lived at this chateau. After Henry’s death in 1559 thrust Catherine into the political arena. She became regent on behalf of her ten-year-old son King Charles IX and was granted sweeping powers. After Charles died in 1574, Catherine played a key role in the reign of her third son, Henry III. She ruled all of france from her cabinet at this chateau.
This is the ultimate fairy-tale Château – so much so that it’s supposed to have inspired Charles Perrault’s classic retelling of the Sleeping Beauty myth. This one was one of our favorite – not as touristy (surprisingly) and really beautiful.
Saumur was originally in the “if we have time” category, but after being pretty much chateaux-ed out by the rest of the Loire valley, we decided that it might be a good place to visit. Of course this didnt mean our tour of chateaux is over – this town has its own – Chateau de Saumur. We spent the rest of the afternoon enjoying a bottle of local Chinon wine next to the Chateau, overlooking the town and the river from a hill.
The Château de Vitré is a medieval castle in the town of Vitré, in the Ille-et-Vilaine département of France.
Roma and Natalia are world travelers, photographers, and an all around fun couple. When they are not travelling far away continents or driving around USA in their trusted Highlander, they can be found in San Francisco, California.