Greatness and decline, architectural achievements, love affairs, rumors and secrets of the royal court: the stories of the Loire castles are even more exciting than the tales of “A Thousand and One Nights.” Do you have five minutes?
What from would you like to start?
You probably won’t have time to visit all three hundred Loire castles. The main thing is to take the time for exploring the three: Chambord, Chenonceau and Blois. Although everything is subjective!?
1800 workers for a hunting lodge
Initially, Chambord Castle was conceived as a luxurious hunting lodge designed to impress ambassadors and monarchs arriving to Francis I on an official visit. The construction of this monumental castle, in which 1800 workers were employed, lasted from 1519 to 1547.
Leonardo da Vinci in Chambord
Only an outstanding mind could invent this double spiral staircase of Chambord Castle. So it is – Leonardo da Vinci himself took part in the design. When looking at the facade it seems that there is only one flight of stairs. In fact, the staircase consists of two flights of stairs turning in the same direction, which never intersect – a magnificent optical illusion. Be careful, you may feel dizzy!
Runaways from Chenonceau Castle
During World War II, one part of Chenonceau Castle remained free, while the other part was occupied by the enemy. The line of demarcation passed through a large gallery, which allowed the French to move en masse from one side to the other. The escape in a royal way!
Tintin in Cheverny
It was Cheverny Castle that inspired the artist Erzhe to create a series of comic books called “The Treasure of the Red Rakham,” which tells of Captain Haddock, who inherited the Mulensar Castle. Plunge into the world of adventures of the captain and his companions Tintin, detectives Dupon and Duponn, as well as the faithful dog Milu, visiting a permanent exhibition in the castle.
Outside, Brese Castle looks quite ordinary. However, right below it at the depth of 18 meters there is a real underground fortress. The tunnels dug in tuff stretched for many kilometers. In this carefully masked labyrinth of defenses, there was even a bakery of its own.
The plans for beautifying Chenonceau Castle are as intricate as the plots of romance novels. Official wives or favorites, once lived in the “Ladies’ Castle”, left their mark in it. The beginning of the construction of the castle was laid by Catherine Brisonne. However, the castle soon passed into the possession of the favorite of Henry II Diana de Poitiers, whose name has the park adjacent to the castle. After the death of the king, his wife Catherine de Medici expelled her rival from the castle and completed a delightful gallery on a stone bridge over the Cher River.
Usse Castle Beauty
A castle bordered by dense forests, a handsome prince (who else?) On a white horse … Once upon a time, Sleeping Beauty settled in the castle in Usse. And they lived happily ever after, and they had many children.