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Chateau De Chenonceau Photo Gallery

Chateau de Chenonceau dusk Chateau de Chenonceau 4 Chateau de Chenonceau 3 Chateau de Chenonceau 2 chteau de chenonceau aerial view chenonceaux chateau de chenonceau chteau de chenonceau 1
The Château de Chenonceau is a manor house near the small village of Chenonceaux, in the Indre-et-Loire département of the Loire Valley in France. It was built on the site of an old mill on the River Cher, sometime before its first mention in writing in the 11th century. The current manor was designed by the French Renaissance architect Philibert Delorme.

The original manor was torched in 1412 to punish owner Jean Marques for an act of sedition. He rebuilt a castle and fortified mill on the site in the 1430s. Subsequently, his indebted heir Pierre Marques sold the castle to Thomas Bohier, Chamberlain for King Charles VIII of France in 1513. Bohier destroyed the castle, though its 15th-century keep was left standing, and built an entirely new residence between 1515 and 1521. The work was sometimes overseen by his wife Katherine Briçonnet, who delighted in hosting French nobility, including King Francis I on two occasions.

In rebuilding the Chenonceau château in the 16th century, Thomas Bohier razed the castle-keep and the fortified mill of the Marques family, erecting the new château upon the piers of the former mill and keeping only the ancient donjon: The Marques Tower, which he transformed in Renaissance style. The forecourt reproduces the layout of the former medieval castle demarcated by the moats. Next to the tower, there is also a well decorated with a chimaera and an eagle - the emblem of the Marques family.

The monumental entrance, dating from the period of Francis I, is made from sculpted and painted wood. It has: on the left, the coat of arms of Thomas Bohier, on the right those of his wife Katherine Briçonnet - the builders of Chenonceau - topped by the salamander of Francis I and the inscription "François, by the grace of God, King of France and Claude, Queen of the French".


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