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Monday 30, May PDF Print E-mail

180 km away from Paris, the Loire Valley gathers castles which were built under the French Renaissance, at a time when the royal power was located on the banks of the River. During the day, you will discover two emblematic Châteaux of the Loire Valley.

Discovering the castle of Chambord

Chambord castleChambord: Castle of extravagance and master piece of the French Renaissance (16th century) located in the Loire Valley

Chambord castle is considered as the most majestic Champagne castle in the Loire Valley. This finial of the Renaissance period was built on François I’s whim for a hunting pavilion. He finally occupied it for a mere 42 days within 32 years of reign.

The castle, featuring 365 fireplaces, 440 rooms, 84 staircases and 800 columns will give you an overview of the extravagance of this period of history.

The main highlight is the spectacular double-helix staircase

Double-helix staircaseDesigned by Leonardo da Vinci, two people can walk up and down the stairs simultaneously without ever meeting each other. Centerpiece of the castle, the double-helix staircase enables the visitor to reach the main terrace, also inspired by Leonardo da Vinci, which offers a wonderful view on the chimneys that surround the dungeon. The staircase is easily recognized by its lantern-tower above it.

The second floor is also breathtaking with its vaulted hallways ornate with symbols of royalty, among them Louise de Savoie’s (François I’s mother). Some monograms on the stairs, visible from the terrace, are written in reverse to enable God, "from the Heavens to witness the extent of the King’s power"!

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Practical information - The visit is guided and will last 1h30.

 

Visiting the castle of Cheverny

Cheverny castle

The most magnificently furnished of the Loire Valley castles

 The Cheverny castle is famous for its splendid Louis XII style interiors. The castle, owned by the Hurault family since its construction, has maintained its elegance since the 12th century.

Did you know that Hergé, author of Tintin, was inspired by Cheverny when creating Moulinsart, the most famous castle in comic book history?

 

The kennelsThe kennels - Cheverny is also famous for its hunting history

A short distance away from the castle, the kennels are occupied by a pack of 90 hounds, all bred by a cross between the British foxhound and the French Poitevin. Feeding time is always an interesting moment as it reveals the hierarchical relations within the pack.

The pack hunts bi-weekly from October until the end of March. The kennel also houses one hundred French tricolor hounds, with the V for the city of Vibraye clearly noticeable on the right flank of every hound.

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Practical information - After the guided visit of the castle, which will last roughly 1h30, we will head to the kennels for the famous "dog soup".

Last Updated on Sunday, 06 June 2010 09:36
 
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