Archive for November 4th, 2021

November 4, 2021

Chenonceau, a castle for the ladies!

And again, down Loire valley lane of my belle France. I am taking you down to the fairy tale castle of the ladies! The town and castle has a peculiarity of the name but that is just history my dear readers. The place of course visited and again, and need to tell you a bit more on it, Ah, I am talking about the Castle of Chenonceau at Chenonceaux! 

This is a fairy tale castle in the castle rich Loire Valley area of France. It is most known for its connection to the many woman who nourish it,and improve it over the years.  I went to the area often as used to purchase my goodies there and helped the Lion Club International in the Touraine region.  To get there it is best by car as I always will tell you, from Paris on the autoroute A10 exit/sortie Blois or Amboise, better) ,parking is free at castle. You can do so by train from Paris Montparnasse to Saint Pierre des Corps near Tours, and then from Tours train station to Chenonceaux by TER train ; the station is just outside the castle walking distance. Of course ,for info as always here by car.

The Château de Chenonceau is located in the village of Chenonceaux (the x story see later) . You have castles here since the 12C, with a fortified windwill from 1230.  The Château de Chenonceau  goes thru many changes of hands and a legal battle to gain title to the property by heirs of  Thomas Bohier, he finally marries a one Catherine Briçonnet (the first lady of the story of the castle) , which does lots of work on the property until her death in 1526. Due to bad finances and no taxes paid, the king François I takes the property in 1535.  Later king Henri II gives it to his favorite lady Diane de Poitiers (see my post on Anet) ,she ,also, does lots of work on the castle. After the death of Henri II in a duel in 1559, the crown finds a way again to take the property back, this time is Catherine de Medicis.

Chenonceau chateau hallway of Katherine Briconnet jun08

Chenonceau chateau room of Dianne de Poitiers jun08

Chenonceau chateau room of Catherine de Medicis jun08

chenonceau castle et PF ent apr07

You have a continuation history of woman relating to the castle such as  Louise de Lorraine wife of king Henri III where the bedroom in the 2nd floor shows on the door the deuil of her assassinated husband in 1589. She lived here until her death surrounded by religious sisters that took domicile at the castle, turning it into some form of convent after the death of Catherine. A room dedicated to the daughters and daughters in laws of Catherine de Medicis, the chambre des Cinq Reines  or bedroom of five queens (Marie StuartMarguerite de France  (queen Margot), Louise de LorraineElizabeth of Austria, and Elizabeth of France).

Chenonceau chateau room of Louise de Lorraine jun08

Chenonceau chateau room of the five queens jun08

Chenonceau chateau room of gabrielle d'etrees jun08

A Claude Dupin buys the property in 1733 ,and his second wife , Louise Dupin, creates a heaven for conversation and enlightment so welcoming amongst others Voltaire,  Fontenelle, Marivaux, Montesquieu, Buffon ,and Rousseau.  As indicated above , it is her, Louise Dupin that is given credit for the different spelling of village and castle as village of  Chenonceaux and castle of Chenonceau, there is no proof to said otherwise  then her wish as owner of the castle during the French revolution  and great friends of the village people where she saves the chapel  to converted into a wooden depot to differentiate between the royalty where the castle is and a strong representation of the French Republic (France).  Many owners follow suite, too numerous to name. Finally the property goes back to its original heirs in 1975 before passing for visits by many famous painters such as Gustave Flaubert. During WWI ,it serve as a military hospital and during WWII the castle makes mark into free France and occupied France, from which it escape with the chapel destroyed which later rebuilt.

Chenonceau castle gardens of Diane de Poitiers jun08

From the bedroom of the ladies in the history of the castle to the room of king Louis XIV, to the gardens of Diane de Poitiers and those of Catherine de Medicis ,the place is just gorgeous and a must visit.

The Castle of Chenonceau has a collection of murals of paintings from amongst others Murillo, Tintoret,Nicolas Poussin, Le Corrége, Rubens, Le Primatice, ” Les trois grâces” of Van Loo, and a nice group of tapestries of Flanders of the 16C.  After the gardens you can ,also, see the farm or ferme with buildings from the 16C, the laberinth ,italian style with 2000 trees. In the building of Dômes, you find wax museum with a historical presentation from the Renaissance to WWI paying tribute to all the woman who have reign on castles. There is a restaurant in the Orangerie of the highest French standards, a salon de thé, with self service,and snacks sandwiches, There is a children playgrounds, little boat rentals for kids, and a park of donkeys.

Chenonceau castle l orangerie resto at ent apr07

And to see other structures next to these gardens such as the Galerie des attelages or gallery of horse teams and it’s collection of hippo cars dating from the 18C to early 19C. The gallery of domes or the Galerie des Dômes that preserves the souvenirs of the military hospital that was setup at Chenonceau during WWI. And the castle has a boutique shop inside for souvenirs.

The official Château de Chenonceau

The Touraine Loire Valley tourist office on the castle

There you go folks, a dandy in the marvelous Loire Valley of my belle France. You need to come to the castle of the ladies, Château de Chenonceau! Hope you enjoy the post as I

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

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November 4, 2021

Cheverny, and Tintin’s Moulinsart!!!

And why not take you back to my updated post on one of the beauties of the Loire Valley of my belle France ! This is an enchanting castle with lots of history other than the castle itself. One particular one we love for more than the castle but for Tintin and the hunting dogs is Cheverny. I like to tell you a bit more on it ok.

It is located in the department of Loir et Cher No 41 in the region Centre-Val-de-Loire, dans the forest abounding the Sologne. You can come by train to Blois ,either a special bus during the summer months or a taxi it is very close from Paris Austerlitz or Montparnasse stations. Of course the best in the region is the car, from Paris on the A10 then exit Blois and follow direction Cheverny on the road D765.

Another fairy tale castle of Cheverny in the valley of the kings or Loire valley.  It is very interesting because its original furniture, and the connection to one of the all time best cartoonist in Europe Hergé and the character Tintin, which used this castle as the series castle Moulinsart. The whole family will enjoy it as mine always has, It is still a private castle with a history going back to 1500, the current owner are  Constance and Charles-Antoine de Vibraye , Marquis de Vibraye same family from 1825. The castle was open to the public in 1922.  Really the best and only thing to see here but its worth every minute of it, I assure you.

Cheverny chateau front PF 2nov07

 To give you a visual tour at the Chateau de Cheverny, you begin by looking at the exterior architecture, especially the rear part going into the gardens, style Louis XIII. However, the front of the castle is what inspired Hergé for his Chateau de Moulinsart fame in the Tintin series, it is all in sculpture stone construction as it is Chambord,Chenonceau,and Blois.  Decorated with Roman busts with an antique look on them; the interior plans are inspired by those of the Palais du Luxembourg in Paris. Here then are the gardens a la Française or French garden style; you have the Orangerie of 18C construction for conventions and meetings now but during WWII it housed/hided  many objects of arts such as the Mona Lisa painting now at the Louvre.  You go in the parc, it is an ocean of lawns all over perfectly kept linking it with the garden a la Anglaise or English style planted with huge trees.  Here you past by the dogs cages or Chenils  as the castle is one of the high points of hunting, you can see the dogs wonderful,and see the feeding of them, great!  You move on to the Potager, in front of the hunting room with fruits, wine grapes,and vegetables;lovely. And dont forget the Communs, this  is by the entrance to the castle and house the administration but they are from the Renaissance period.

Cheverny chat hunting dogs resting nov07

I like to get you inside the castle! You go in by the Salle à Manger or dining room, from the 19C now but decoration of the 17C, with leather ceilings! and a bust of king Henri IV, you see on the wall Cervantes Don Quijotes with very impressive arms of the family,and a dining table for 30 seatings. Then you take the stairs, or l’Escalier d’Honneur, with a renaissance influence richly decorated in white stone and style Louis XIII, and hunting heads in wood. Going up to the appartements Privés or private apartments, that were occupied as little back as 1985. Here you have the Chambre jaune or birth bedroom, then the Petit Boudoir Rouge, small ladies room, Chambre d’enfants with the first horse models of the Napoleon III era as well as portraits of the owner family. The chambre des Mariés with the wedding clothing of the current owners including a bathtub of the 19C, the Salle à manger familiale is the place where the family ate and decorated as if it is waiting for guests; and the Petit Salon, with miniature potraits of the owner family in a glass cabinet.

Cheverny chat gallerie de souvenirs nov07


cheverny chat kings bedroom nov07

The visit is follow into the Salle d’Armes ,the biggest in the castle with decoration of origin from the 17C, a great wooden chimney and tapestries of Gobelins of the 17C showing events of the war of Troy in Greece. It has a collection of weapons from the 15C to 17C, lots of swords, arquebuses, and vaults of travels from the 17C. It has a covering thread in leather of Cordoba with the arms of France and Navarra that once belongs to king Henri IV and weights 70 kg (about 154 pounds). You go into the Chambre du Roi or king bedroom, a luxurious room! with decoration of the greatest adventures of romance, painting of Persia and Andromeda, 30 scenes of the tragic loves of Théagéne and Chariclée (French names sorry). 6 tapestries from the 17C with work of Ulyses hero of Odyssée. A huge bed of 2 meters by 1,60 meters ( 6.60x 5.3 ft) and chairs from Louis XIII, and sofas of Louis XIV with tapestries of Aubusson. You go to the small Vestibule with a nice Flanders tapestry of the 17C to go into the Grand Salon, the work of the owner for over 150 years with the best collection in the castle, portraits of the family, including the parents of Henri IV as well as the folks link to the castle such as Louis XII and queen Anne of Austria etc. Painting of Ferdinand I brother and successor of emperor Charles V, the furniture from the 17C and 18C and other wonders of the time to see, its just overpowering.

cheverny chat grand salon nov07

cheverny chat salle d'armes front nov07

You continue the visit of the castle into the Galerie, many paintings of the family from great masters of the 17C and an original document signed by General George Washington USA, talking about one of the ancestors of the current owner that fought alongside Lafayette and Rochambeau during the war of Independance of the United States! Great history indeed. You go thru the Petit Salon, more family portraits alongside a chimney as well as period furniture.  This takes you to the Library or Bibliothéque with over 2000 ancient books done in different leathers with furniture from the Premier Empire and office desk signed by Jacob, the purveyor of them to Napoleon Ier.  You come now to the end into the Salon des Tapisseries, with 5 tapestries of Flanders from the 17C huge tapestries! with different motifs as well as furniture from Louis XIV and Louis XV, and a huge clock from the 18C still marking time as hours,minutes,seconds, day, date, and phases of the moon. Wonderful indeed all of it.

cheverny chat liv room nov07

Cheverny chat salon des tapisseries nov07

By the entrance to the right past the dogs cages and Salle des Trophées of hunting leyends you have an exhibition of  Tintin and its Chateau de Moulinsart with many of the cartoons shown in his books and movies. Great for the whole family and my kids enjoyed tremendously as they are all fans of Tintin, the way the mother taught them French !!!

Cheverny moulinsart tintin expo kids 2nov07


The official Château de Cheverny:

The official Château de Cheverny on the Tintin/Moulinsart exhibition

While in town of Cheverny and hungry we had our lunch in Pinocchio, nice sounding name,,,and the food was good, it is by church;webpage :

Cheverny pl de l eglise and pinocchio resto nov07

There you go folks, another beautiful historical castle in the wonderful Loire Valley of my belle France. Always amazing things to see and Cheverny should be on the top list of any, Enjoy Cheverny  and Tintin ; good for the whole family.

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

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November 4, 2021

St. Luitwinus Church of Mettlach!

Ok so I am on my road warrior campaign , this time in Mettlach, Germany! The roads are glorious and the scenery is wonderful. We came from south of Trier where we were based to visit this town famous for its Villeroy & Bach porcelain factory . However, once in town and walk around, we notice a wonderful St. Luitwinus Church that we like very much.  Therefore  ,here is a bit more especially for St. Luitwinus Church , on the off the beaten path!



The city of Mettlach  is in the Saar. it was a village with an abbey in the duchy of Lorraine attached to the diocese of Trier . This abbey was founded in the 7C . Mettlach has two rail stations on the Saarstrecke that runs between Saarbrucken and Trier , but the lovely ride is from the road B51 to Konz and Merzig, just lovely indeed. Mettlach is a nice town, with a history of Saint Luitwinius in a very nice Church; the abbey has a great garden with water fountain, and a tower 1000 years old of St Liutwinius and a statue of the Saint up the square facing the town; just a nice small town indeed and a wonderful find.



And find we did on the St. Luitwinus Church built in 1902 in the Neo-Romanesque Rhine style, offers beautiful examples of local mosaic art. It presents pieces of a unique finesse to the north of the Alps. These are representations based on tesserae of glass and clay, the assemblage of which lasted over 50 years. In addition to these rare and magnificent mosaics, the Church houses a reliquary chest dating back to 1228.



St. Luitwinus Church built in 1847 which replaced the old church from the 8C,and again in 1902.  Old Tower (burial site of St. Lutwins) It was constructed over 1,000 years ago as a burial chapel for St. Luitwinus and has undergone extensive restoration in recent years.



As difficult to find info on the Church and my library is not so extensive on Germany, will leave you with some webpages to further expand on my writings above and help plan your trip here. I say is a nice detour to make if by these parts of Germany or into porcelain shopping!

The Mettlach tourist office on its heritage in German :

The parish of St Lutwinus Church in German :

The Saar region tourist office on the St Luitwinus Church

The Saarland on St Luitwinus in German :

There you go folks,again a nice ride, nice town and interesting historical and architectural buildings to keep you for a day. Enjoy St Luitwinus Church and Mettlach.

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

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