Archive for March 15th, 2019

March 15, 2019

Chambord at Christmas!

Another place that we love to come for Christmas over the years was not far from us and still is like that. We love the region and have come here several times, castles are it but so many will take you a lifetime to see them all. Again, the most famous are in the region known as Centre-Val-de-Loire but there just as famous and good ones in the neighboring region of Pays de la Loire. I have several posts on Chambord in my blog.

However, for Christmas believe deserves a post on its own. This is my take on Chambord at Christmas! Future planning is a must.

Chambord is located in the Loir-et-Cher department no 41, in the Centre-Val de Loire region.   The town is famous for its castle and its fully enclosed park, a national hunting reserve where the presidential hunts take place. The town and the whole territory of the municipality of Chambord are the property of the French Republic administered in the form of a public establishment of industrial and commercial nature name the Domain of Chambord.

Chambord

Do come and celebrate Christmas here is really magical and gorgeous place to be at. Celebrate the end of year celebrations in the largest of the Loire castles. Enjoy a magical Christmas at the Château de Chambord . Many animations await you, and I will tell you some.

A magical and warm atmosphere takes place in the castle that will celebrate its 500 years in 2019!  More on the 500 celebrations here: Official Chambor castle 500 years anniversary in English

Before celebrating its fifth centenary, the Château de Chambord has many surprises for you during the holidays.  As each year, the Château de Chambord has concocted a program rich in animations to wait until Christmas and prolong the feast during the holidays. For more than a month, the castle is transformed and wears its winter clothes. Firs trees and decorations come to the castle, from the ground floor to the second floor, passing through the grand staircase with double revolution and the chapel!

On the outside, the magic of Christmas seizes the French gardens with splendid illuminations that accompany the lighting of the facade of the castle. The walkways leading to the entrance will also be transformed with a hundred fir trees that will illuminate at dusk.

 Chambord

In the castle, do not miss the perambulations of the musicians who will punctuate a visit dotted by costumed characters in the style of the 16C. Singing, dancing, and period music. Enjoy an artistic Christmas in the heart of the Sologne. Story tellers readers will come to tell fun and amusing stories for the enjoyment of the youngest. In the warm atmosphere of the rooms on the ground floor, at the fireside, comfortably seated on cushions, they will travel in the fairy tale universe! The children will leave to discover King François I through an exciting exhibition.

 Chambord

Finally, who says Christmas meets Santa Claus! The children can be photographed with the man in red and exchange a few words with him. The external walkways of Chambord are adorned with a hundred illuminated fir trees, which amaze the little ones and families all together. The interior is also dressed in majestic fir trees and a sumptuous decoration. From the ground floor to the first floor, through the entrance porch and the chapel, the visit path is sublimated by the magic of Christmas. The lighting of the French gardens and highlight of the north facade of the castle.

 Chambord

Presentation of firs trees made by prestigious brands on the second floor: elect the most beautiful fir tree among the 20 presented! Traditional wooden games (billiards Louis XIV, Hole-Madame…) and board games. Dance and Song of the Renaissance, wandering of characters in costume, nature animations, coloring, reading tales, meeting with Santa Claus and many other surprises… Except on 24, 25, 31 December and 1 January.

 Chambord

Great new show: “Beauty and the Beast, a new story “. The spectators are transported in the adventures of Princess Laideronnette, cursed by a witch, in search of her beloved. A baroque and wonderful spectacle for young and old in 16C costumes, created especially for the occasion. On stage, actors and musicians to transcribe this fabulous story. The program: Plots, travels, special effect of period, artistic fencing, old music and many other surprises!! Indeed magical in the Castle surroundings!!

Chambord

Some webpages to help you plan your trip here are

Official Chambord castle Christmas celebrations past year

Official Chambord castle events to come in English

You will enchanted here at Chambord, and the gardens are recently renovated as I told you in one of my Some News from France series. It will be gorgeous. I do buy some wines here especially from nearby Cheverny nice crisp and good value for house wines.

Chambord

Hope you enjoy the post. And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

 

 

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March 15, 2019

Amboise at Christmas!

Here I am to take you into the fairy tell land of the Loire and its castles. There are so many ,even living close to them will take me a life time to see them all. I am trying ok. However, after seeing several of them over the years, one become to make choices and pick favorites that received repeat visits. First , I go into the castle let me tell you that Amboise is in the so call Valley of the kings castles in or around the Loire river. However, there are two regions in France that converges on it. Amboise is in department Indre-et-Loire no. 37 ;then it is in the Centre-Val de Loire region and not in the Pays de la Loire region that ,also has many castles along the Loire.

Clear that out of the way, let me tell you about Amboise at Christmas time. We come with the family here often as it is also where we buy our house wines of Touraine-Amboise appellation. A bit early for planning!

This is a family affairs that begins at the castle and overflows into the city center of Amboise along the Loire river; needless to say you should come here at Christmas time. It is magical. More so this year as it is the 500 anniversary of Leonardo Da Vinci at the Château du Clos Lucé; more on this festivities here Official Viva Da Vinci 2019 festivities 500 anniversary

Every year, the Château of Amboise proposes to you to live Christmas over the centuries and to discover how the holidays have evolved over the years, from the origins to the Renaissance and until today.  Come and visit the castle which, for the occasion, gets to offer you scenes richly decorated in its rooms. You will find everything that makes you dream small and big when approaching Christmas: Decorated fir trees, logs and confectionery, cribs, fairy sets… All within the framework of a true Royal castle!  You follow the guiding thread: the Angels. Discover them in different forms, in the decorations of the castle or the paintings hanging on the walls, during your angelic visit of the Royal Castle of Amboise.  From December to January, you can also enjoy concerts, musical tales, creative workshops, a Roisou pastry cake tasting and a magnificent Renaissance ball!

Amboise

 

amboise

And at the city center ,Christmas in Amboise, it is the occasion for all the dreamers, to fall back to childhood and to rediscover the wonder that invades everyone in the approach of the holidays. The historic heart of the city is illuminated every evening by hundreds of glittering garlands, from the place Michel Debré to the place Saint-Denis via the Tour de l’Horloge. A forest of fir trees sublimated by a light all red and green welcomes you in the old town. At nightfall, the banks of the Loire river are the privileged witnesses of the marvellous illumination of the Royal Castle of Amboise.

Amboise

Fleurs-de-lis and cherubs come to life in a whirlwind of lights and colors for the greatest wonder of the entire family. In the Council room, near the roaring wood fire, a gigantic nativity scene presents, with the traditional characters of Advent, a village stage full of colorful goodness! Close your eyes, alert your ear… You would almost hear the fisherman’s banter negotiating his most beautiful catches with the fishermen, under the eager look of the neighborhood cats. In the salon Louis-Philippe, the fir tree is ready, the socks are hanging from the chimney, and some packages and gifts already adorn the foot of the dream tree.

amboise

At the Château du Clos Lucé, Leonardo da Vinci welcomes its guests in a decor magnified by sumptuous plant creations. The grand staircase takes on the airs of a pristine forest, and brings you into the living room with a beautiful red fir tree. At its foot are already laid a few packages, promises of joys to come, under the benevolent protection of the mechanical lion of the master of the castle (in case some would consider opening the packages before the hour!). In the kitchen, candied fruits, spices and prepared poultry are already out. Finally, only the guests are missing to celebrate these wonderful moments of reunion! Welcome to magical Amboise!

Amboise

We came first once from Versailles and we love it; we have come back several years at Christmas and many others on shopping. We plan to come back in May, are you around? Amboise is magical indeed! I have several posts on it in my blog, but feld a Christmas ahead of time for planning was in order. Enjoy it

Amboise

Some webpages to help you plan your trip here are

Official Chateau of Amboise on Christmas 2017 in French

Official tourist office of the touraine Loire valley region on Christmas 2017 in French

City of Amboise tourism on things to see in English

There you go  do plan ahead and be here , I guarantee you will love, grand royal, sublime historical architecturally stunning and great Renaissance period costumes and decorations. Amboise is wonderful ! Christmas in Amboise will be from December 21 2019 to January 5  2020! 

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

 

 

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March 15, 2019

Salon d’Apollon or Salle du Trône ,Versailles of course!

So I am coming back again to my beloved old home of Versailles. What can I say when you are lucky enough to lived there for almost 10 years and worked in Paris.… Well I have come back several times and have many posts on it in my blog. However, there are areas missing a bit more of it me think.

This is the case with a nice living room of Apollo or Salon d’Apollon or more commonly call by us locals… as the Throne room or Salle du Trône. Let me tell you a bit more on it ok

The Salon d’Apollon or living room of Apollo is also, known as the Salle du Trône or room of the throne. It is inside the wonderful beautiful palace/museum of  Versailles, holding its name from the ceiling representing Apollo on its chariot. The living room of Apollo is located on the first floor of the Château de Versailles, in the King’s large apartments. It is adjacent to the mercury and war rooms (Salon de Mercure et Salon de la Guerre).

Versailles

Serving as the King’s room from 1673 to 1682 and then as the Throne room as soon as the king and the court settled in Versailles, the king granted his ordinary hearings here. The room was also reserved for dancing during the evenings of apartments.

The living room of Apollo is dedicated to the Greek god, god of the Sun, to whom the Sun King identified himself. Commissioned by king Louis XIV, the ceiling is a painting by Charles de la Fosse which represents Apollo on his chariot dragged by four couriers, accompanied by the figures of France, the Magnanimity and Magnificence and the procession of the seasons figured by Flora, Ceres, Bacchus and Saturn in the center.

The covings represent Porus led in front of Alexander, Coriolanus raising the Siege of Rome at the request of his mother, Vespasian raising the Colosseum in Rome, and   Augustus building the port of Miseno . The four continents are represented in the four angles of the ceiling.

Versailles

The chimney was surmounted by the portrait standing of king Louis XIV in a royal suit, wearing the insignia given to the Kings on the day of their coronation. Painted in 1701 by Hyacinthe Rigaud to illustrate the power of the king and his natural majesty. This portrait is now preserved at the Louvre museum, a copy replaces the original in the living room of Apollo. In front of the painting is a portrait of king Louis XVI.

The living room of Apollo or Salon d’Apollon or Salle du Trône  was restored last in 2014.

Versailles

Salle du trone king Louis XVI special exhibition

The official Palace/museum webpage has a bit more on it. Chateau de Versailles on the Apollo Room

The whole place is magical and to think it was once practically my backyard literally used to play and jog with my boys in the gardens! magical sublime nostalgia setting in and vacation time is coming to plan lol!  Versailles is it. Enjoy the post and thanks for stopping by.

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

 

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