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Discover Loire Valley Castles and superbe Renaissance castles. The usual order of visit is Amboise Castle followed by Chenonceau in the morning, then Chambord in the afternoon, but this is subject to change. You will have lunch in the city of Chenonceau, near the castle, at 'Gateau Breton' restaurant. Be ready for a wonderful day in the Loire Valley!
One of the first truly "royal" residences of its kind, chateau Amboise was built during the 15th and the 16th centuries on the orders of Charles VIII, Louis XII and François 1. Following in the footsteps of the great kings of France, you will discover a magnificent example of Gothic and Renaissance architecture. Today, the Chateau still houses an exceptional collection of furniture which has been admirably preserved.
By building chateau Chenonceau on the Cher river in the 1513, Thomas Bohier razed the castle-keep and the FORTIFIED MILL of the Marques family only keeping the dungeon. It is sad that he never managed to see the finished castle and was completed by his wife and son. Later, it became crown property. Henri II offered this castle to his favourite, Diane de Poitiers. She then decided to have a bridge built, linking the castle to the right bank of the river. This was done by Philibert de l'Orne, the resident architect.
Following the death of Henri II, Catherine de Medicis took over the ruling and forced Diane de Poitiers to return the chateau Chenonceau to crown. During her reign and as the Queen mother, Catherine commissioned a great gallery to be built on the bridge.
The royal Chateau de Chambord is one of the most recognizable chateaux in the world because of its very distinct French Renaissance architecture that blends traditional French medieval forms with classical Italian structures and is also the largest castle in the Loire valley with 440 rooms, 365 fireplaces and 13 great staircases.
It was constructed by King François I in part to be near to his mistress the Comtesse de Thoury, a member of a very important family of France, whose domaine the chateau de Muides was adjacent. One of the architectural highlights is the spectacular double-helix open staircase that is the centerpiece of the castle designed by...Leonardo Da Vinci.
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