our own personal chateau at Chenonceau and headed to the chateau
at Villandry which is famous for its intricate gardens.
From Villandry, we headed to the city of Tours. At the end
of the day we returned to Chenonceau for our 2030hrs dinner
The photos below are what we saw.
is a big place, but not as large as many of the chateaus we have
seen. Its claim to fame is the intricate gardens that
surround the chateau building. There were a number of
outbuildings associated with the chateau and the one in the photo
above was the largest and served as guest housing. These
gardens are either under construction or reset to the "zen
gardens are huge and have both edible food as well as flowers
that are just for looks. The portion above is the edible
part with lettuce, cabbage, egg plants, carrots, etc being grown.
edibles are surrounded by the same type hedges that are used for
the ornamental gardens.
purple bush is lavendar.
side of the property is the ornamental gardens. Note the
patterns in the hedges.
hearts, diamonds and spades are represented in hedges.
the bushes are cut into ornamental shapes in apiary style.
of the smaller areas had nice fountains.
across the edible gardens we got our first good look at the main
chateau at Villandry.
edible gardens were nicely organized and were used to produce
food for the chateau occupants.
ornamental garden in the foreground shows the multi-color style
that was favored by the royals back then.
flowers were surrounded by hedges and were best viewed from
gardens and general grounds required extensive skilled
maintenance. While deemed a historical site, the owner
lives off of ticket revenues and uses it to maintain the site.
finished checking out the gardens we went inside the chateau to
see what was there. We spotted this interesting spiral
staircase that goes up 4 floors.
the rooms had original artifacts in excellent condition.
This piano was magnificent.
typical banquet setup for a small number of guests.
the artifacts were quite well preserved.
kitchen in the chateau was organized in the standard way for
Michele check out the "red room" with its intricate carved
marble fireplace mantle.
the high ceiling rooms had an intricate carved top to represent
the positions of the stars in the sky. Very
impressing. We left Villandry and headed to Tours.
Tours, we parked right across the street from this 15th century
modern statue mixes well with the medieval motif of the inner
and Kathleen explored the narrow streets looking for a good
place to eat. We hiked quite awhile before deciding.
tractor pulls the tourist train through the narrow city streets.
sat for lunch, I started to pay attention to what was going on
around us and I spotted this attractive gal eating lunch with
her buddy. Most of the French girls we saw were svelte and
fashionable. The Americans were easy to spot: under-dressed
and over weight.
medieval buildings have been preserved nicely over the years.
about 4 blocks out of the medieval section of old town and you
get into the modern portion of Tours, complete with
sophisticated tram system. The tram is quiet and fast and
you better be paying attention when the tram is near because it
is hard to hear.
Loire River was a small carnival with a Ferris wheel and a
stonework bridge over the Loire River was all decked out with
The river wall includes a flood height record that go back to 1372. Interesting to note that there have been no high water events recorded since 1907 which could mean that the weather is changing or the records keeper is lazy. Also note the fainter marks in Roman numerals to the left of the steel gauge.
to the Theatre in Tours and it was heavily adorned with
interesting art. But, sadly it was closed so we could only
see the outside edifice.
This is a portion of
a tomb for Charlemain's wife. The issue is not really
who is buried there, but rather the construction techniques
that have been used over the years and are visible. Most
of these thick walls are filled with rubble with only the outside
being worked stone or brick. The rubble filling is
visible in the photo above as well as the use of both fired brick
and cut stone. The rubble filling is clearly visible on
the outside wall near the top of the photo.
Another interesting thing about these older structures is that they are almost never torn down but just amended. Note the remains of a flying buttress that was under distress. Rather than removing it, it was easier to just fill in the area underneath it. And, the filling is hollow (no rubble filling). Note the holes in the wall under the old buttress.
This church is across
the street from Charlemain wife's tomb.
A small farm house on the River Cher surrounded by sunflowers. Chenonceau is beyond the far woods. We passed this place as we attempted to navigate back to our hotel.
The Chateau at Chenonceau is a must-see if you are in the area. While not the biggest chateau, it was one of the best preserved of the ones that we saw. Our stay at Le Bon Laboureur was very, very nice if a tad expensive. OK, expensive; the cost was 2X of the other rooms that we stayed in, but totally worth it.
dinner at another restaurant in Chenonceau and it was very
good as well. Tomorrow, we break camp and head to
Chambord and Chartres on our way back to Paris.
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Photos and Text Copyright Bill Caid 2013,
all rights reserved.
For your enjoyment only, not for commercial use.