Friday, November 3, 2023

Château de Chenonceau - Inside Out, Part II


Welcome back! Grateful you returned to view additional rooms inside this beautiful castle. In case this is your first visit with Château de Chenonceau, you could read Part I. The post displays a brief history, the approach, main door, stairway, tile floors, the Gallery, second floor hall, and a bit about the interior.

Today we will peek inside some of the bedrooms, the well-appointed kitchen, and what was once a hospital with full apothecary. During WWI, the kitchens were outfitted to serve as a hospital as well as portions of the farm buildings.

The first bedroom open for discussion is Cesar of Vendôme’s - photo below at left. Caesar was the son of King HenriIV and Gabrielle d’Estrées, also uncle of Louis XIV. He owned Chenonceau beginning in 1624. Notice the visible joints on the ceiling. The tapestries date from the 17th century, while the furniture is from the Renaissance. 


Catherine de’ Medici became regent when King Henri II her husband died. She required his mistress, Diane de Poitiers to trade Chenonceau for Chaumont. Catherine proceeded to add a gallery, gardens, and outbuildings. The tile floor and bed in the photo above at right were from the Renaissance. Notice the carvings in the coffered ceiling. H is for Henri and C for Catherine. The painting on wood to the right of the bed is by Correggio. While the 16th century tapestry depicts proverbs and fables from The Life of Samson.

Louise of Lorraine was married to King Henri III. She retired to Chenonceau after he was assassinated. The royal protocol for mourning in 1589 was to dress in white. Incidentally, she was referred to as the White Queen. Her bedroom remains decorated for mourning and houses furniture is from the 1500s. Louise wanted the Capuchin nuns near her as she meditated and prayed. They stayed on the third floor until the 17th century. After, they returned to their convent.

Next on our tour are the kitchens. They are housed in the two huge bases of the castle, the piers in the River Cher. The pantry had several purposes. The staff used this for their dining area. It also holds the largest fireplace and a bread oven. Within the pantry you will find the butchery. Hooks and chopping block are still in place. Produce was stored in the larder. Imagine all the staff necessary to care for the inhabitants of a castle this size. Not to mention staff to maintain the structure. Quite an operation from top to bottom.

See the piers in photo below.

Fireplace and bread oven.

Staff dining within the pantry.                         Additional table in the larder.

Butcher block above. I never considered the origin of that term before. Bread oven at right.


Notice the bells? Here are the back stairs the staff used to trek to the upper floors and serve.


Hand pump and sink. There was also an additional larger pump. Spit at right.

Look at those pots! Also my writing research travel partner, Cindy Kay Stewart. 

I wondered if the rope at the window above was for raising produce and fish from the river boats into the kitchen. It would have been handy for sure.

The last part of Chenonceau to explore today is part of the outbuildings that functioned as a hospital in WWI. In the photo you can see an example of the beds and also the nurses who tended patients. Take a gander at the apothecary. I have been unable to ascertain if these are the original cannisters or reproductions. Whatever the case, they are stunning. What do you think?


This was an amazing visit. It is no wonder tourists flock to the area. If you are ever in the Loire Valley, stop by and peruse this stunning château. You will be thinking about it and those who traversed the floors and opened the doors long after you cross the river.

As a child, Rebecca loved to write. She nurtured this skill as an educator and later as an editor for an online magazine. Rebecca then joined the Cru Ministry - NBS2GO/Neighbor Bible Studies 2GO, at its inception. She serves as the YouVersion Content Creator, with over 100 Plans on the app.

Rebecca lives near the mountains with her husband and a rescued dog named Ranger. If it were up to her, she would be traveling - right now. As a member of ACFW and FHLCW, Rebecca learns the craft of fiction while networking with a host of generous writers. She is working on her first fiction novel. This story unfolds from the 1830s in Northern Georgia.

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1 comment:

  1. Thank you for continuing the tour for us! I love seeing the kitchens and that hospital apothecary is amazing!