This post will be about my favorite part of my trip to Paris. If you read my previous post, you know I traveled with my grandparents after my freshmen year of college. After a few days in the city, a family friend took the time to take us around and visit some castles located close to Paris.
As you can imagine, they were all beautiful. But, a side from the pretty scenary that you will notice in the following pictures, one of the best parts is knowing the stories behind those castles. So let me tell you the story of my favorite one.
First I need to tell you the story of King Henry II who ruled France from 31 March 1547 until his death in 1559. He got married to Catherine de’Medici, when they were both fourteen. Years later, Catherine acquired the castle of Chaumond. This is a large castle located on top of a hill in Loir-et-Cher, France.
However the King was in love with another woman. King Henry II’s mistress was a woman 25 years older than him, with the name of Diane de Poitiers. She had a significant influence in royal issues and was publicly seen with the king. It’s well known that the King felt an admirable appreciation for Diane. For this reason, the king decided to give Diane the castle of Chenonceau located in Loire Valley, France as a gift, which is the most beautiful castle I’ve ever seen. It’s significantly smaller than the one Catherine had under her possession, but it is far more beautiful.
Let me give you a minute to take that picture in and let it settle.
No wonder King Henry II loved Diane way more than his wife. The castle looks like it was taken straight from a fairy tale. Once you visit the insides, the kitchen, and office bedrooms, they are all well decorated with flowers. It even has a small church inside. Every little corner of the castle is extremely beautiful.
Years later, when King Henry II died, Catherine expressed her anger towards the woman that Henry loved so much, and gave Diane the option to either exchange castles or be forced out of the castle. This is how Diane moved out and into the Queen’s castle, while Catherine moved into Chenonceau. Once living there, the queen decided to expand the dinning room creating a room on top of a bridge in the back of the castle. She also decided to create her own gardens in addition to the gardens that Diane had.