Château Amboise (2)

August 13, 2016
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King François I

The terrible tragedy of Charles’ death threw a pall over the Château and the town. Anne was only twenty-one. Already heartbroken having lost seven children to early deaths, she was devastated. She couldn’t wait to leave Amboise and went home to her beloved Brittany.

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Château Amboise (1)

August 7, 2016
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Château Amboise Walls

Way back in Neolithic times, the mighty rock where Château Amboise now stands was a defensive fort. The natural promontory at the confluence of the Loire to the north and the Amasse to the south, was and is still, a perfect observation point.

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Château Gaillard

July 23, 2016
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Château Gaillard (33)

Foolish to condense five hundred years of history into one blog. However, fools rush in, so here goes. The Renaissance arrived in France via Amboise in 1495 when King Charles VIII, came home from Italy. The fact he went there at all was something of a fluke. In 1489, to punish Ferdinand, the King of […]

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Château Chaumont

June 13, 2016
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IMG_2159

When children draw fairy tale castles with moats, drawbridges and pepper pot turrets, Château Chaumont overlooking the river Loire in France is what they imagine. When Diane de Poitiers (more anon) infamous mistress of Henri II first set eyes on Chaumont (an unwanted acquisition) she conceded that it was pretty. The interior was quite a […]

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Loches, ah, Loches. What to make of Loches?

May 28, 2016
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Loches - Roytrs (11)

Mmm. Well, different, we can say that. Different, that is, to other chateaux we’ve visited. Different and – dare we say – a tad disappointing. One of the most important, historically speaking, places in France did not meet our expectations, which doesn’t mean it does not meet those of others, perhaps ours were – what […]

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Strawberry Hill House

May 3, 2016
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Strawberry Hill (16)

Life is dull when you are up to the withers in paint. Matte, gloss, silk, satin, emulsion you name it, sugar soap, sandpaper, brushes, big rollers, small rollers on and on day after day. Lordy, lordy, time for a Jolly. When did we last have a Jolly? So long, can’t remember. Where shall we go? […]

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Château Beauregard

April 28, 2016
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Chateau Beauregard

Beauregard, a small, privately owned chateau in the Loire Valley, is well worth a visit. If it were not for two very special attractions it might have disappeared into the jaws of time because it was not built as a château or a manor house; it was built as a hunting lodge for Francis I. […]

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