Located in Touraine, the Château de Chenonceau is probably the most charming castle on the Loire. Overlooking the river, it seems to float on the water.
Would you like to visit it? I give you in this article a maximum of information on the visit of the Castle of Chenonceau and publish photos taken on the spot.
The Castle of Chenonceau
The Château de Chenonceau is in the small town of Chenonceaux.
The first building constructed in this place dates from the 13th century. Only the dungeon, the Tower of the Marks, remains of this fortress.
The Château de Chenonceau that you see today was built in the 16th century.
First built by Katherine Briçonnet, the castle then belonged to Diane de Poitiers, Catherine de Médicis and Louise de Lorraine. This earned it the nickname “Château des Dames“.
Its architecture has Italian and French inspirations.
The Château de Chenonceau is divided into 3 parts:
- The 2-story main building
- A long gallery that passes over the river
- The tower of the Marks.
The complex includes a total of 20 rooms to visit. Some rooms like the Gallery are sober and you admire the architecture and feel the atmosphere.
Others like the rooms of Diane de Poitiers and Catherine de Medici are decorated with period furniture.
During your visit you can also see works of art made by great artists of the sixteenth, seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Among them you will probably recognize names like Tintorret, Mino da Fiesole, Veronese, Nattier, Poussin…
Finally, the visit to the castle also includes the gardens.
The first is the Jardin de Diane de Poitiers. The parterre has an area of 12,000 square meters. Its structure is that imagined by Diane de Poitiers.
The second, the Garden of Catherine de Medici, is 5,500 square meters. Its inspiration is Italian.
Highlights of a visit to the Château de Chenonceau
- Its architecture and its history: between its construction in part on the Cher and its nickname of the castle of the Ladies, it is unique.
- Its gardens: the gardens are exceptional and have an area of nearly 20,000 square meters. You will have as much fun in the castle as in the gardens.
- Its collection of paintings: the castle houses an important collection of paintings by masters such as Rubens, Titian and Nicolas Poussin. Art and history satisfy all audiences.
Disadvantages during a visit to the Château de Chenonceau
- The Château de Chenonceau is one of the most famous and most visited castles in the Loire Valley. The weekends from the end of May and the summer, the attendance is high.
- The castle is sometimes closed for film shoots.
- The entrance fee is rather high for a castle that is quick to visit.
What can you see at the Château de Chenonceau?
Among all the pieces to see, my preferences go to :
- The Gallery of Domes is one of the main attractions of the castle. This 60-meter long gallery spans the Cher River and is decorated with tapestries, paintings and sculptures.
- The gardens are beautiful and worth exploring. There are several gardens, including the medieval garden, the Diane de Poitiers Garden and the labyrinth.
- The castle’s kitchens are also worth a visit. They have been restored and equipped with period kitchen utensils to give an idea of daily life in the castle.
- Catherine de Medici’s room is decorated with woodwork and tapestries and has a ceiling in the shape of an inverted ship’s hull.
- The room of Diane de Poitiers is the most famous room of the castle. It is decorated with frescoes representing mythological scenes, and there is a portrait of Diane de Poitiers.
- The chapel located in the south wing of the castle dates from the 16th century. It is decorated with frescoes and sculptures, and has a sculpted marble altar.
On my last visit, I also spent a lot of time near the Cher. Sitting quietly, looking at the front of the castle and the water, you are relaxed.
This castle invites melancholy and sweet passion. I understand why so many women have loved it.
What is the entrance fee for the Château de Chenonceau?
The price for a free visit of the Château de Chenonceau is:
- 15.50€ for an adult / 19.50€ with an audioguide
- 14€ for over 60 years old / 18€ with an audioguide
- 12.50€ for students and children / 14.50€ with an audioguide
- free for children under 7 years old.
How long does a visit to the Château de Chenonceau last?
Among all the Loire Valley castles, the Château de Chenonceau does not have the most extensive interior. However, the visit is interesting and is well complemented by the magnificent gardens.
The estimated duration of a visit to the Château de Chenonceau and its gardens is 1h30 to 2h30.
Where is the Château de Chenonceau located?
The Castle of Chenonceau is located in the city of Chenonceaux (postal code: 37150).
How to get to the Château de Chenonceau ?
The most convenient way to get here is by car. From Paris, take the A10 freeway and exit at “Blois”.
The other option is by train. Many train lines pass through the Saint-Pierre-des-Corps station, which is located right next to Tours. From there, you can take a TER Tours-Chenonceaux. In 25 minutes, you arrive at the small station of Chenonceaux, located 500 meters from the entrance of the ticket office.
What are the opening hours of the Château de Chenonceau ?
Schedules change according to the season:
- From November to the beginning of April, the castle is open from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 or 5:30 p.m.
- From the beginning of April to the beginning of July, the castle is open from 9:00 a.m. to 5:30 or 6:00 p.m.
- In July and August, the castle is open from 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.
- From September to the end of October, the castle is open from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 or 5:30 p.m.
What other activities can I do near the Château de Chenonceau?
The Château de Chenonceau is located in a beautiful part of France that is full of tourist activities. Here are some of the activities near the castle:
- Visit the other castles of the Loire Valley: the Château de Chaumont, the Château d’Amboise, the Château de Chambord, to name only the most famous, are within a short distance from the Château de Chenonceau.
- Discover the region’s vineyards: The Loire Valley is famous for its wines, especially its white wines. You can visit local wineries to taste delicious wines and learn more about wine production in the region.
- Take advantage of various activities such as the Beauval zoo, the Compagnonnage museum in Tours, the Maison de la magie in Blois…
There are many other activities near the Château de Chenonceau, depending on your interests. Feel free to ask the local tourist office for more information.
As a professional blogger, I take advantage of my flexible schedule to travel a lot. I haven’t been everywhere, but it’s on my list!