We visited Chambord (the castle) in the off season on a cold and rainy day. The largest crowd-occupying space was the usual queue outside the ladies toilets, a common sight at most French tourist attractions. I wondered how long the queue would be in Summer.
Château du Clos Lucé was home to Leonardo da Vinci for the last three years of his life, and it is here that he died in 1519. The current owners aim to make le Clos Lucé the top European site for the knowledge of Leonardo da Vinci and the interpretation of his work.
A place of residence for French kings from the 15th to the 19th centuries, its destiny is inextricably linked to the history of France. Numerous literary figures and artists were invited here, like Leonardo da Vinci whose tomb is preserved at the château.
Legend has it that Charles Perrault, while staying at Château d’Ussé as a guest of the Count of Saumur, was inspired to portray the Château as the castle in his 17th-century tale of Sleeping Beauty.
Château de Villandry is the last of the great châteaux built during the Renaissance in the Loire Valley. Laid out in the shelter of a hillside on the Loire, it is simply a beautiful place of peace and harmony where it is pleasant just to wander around.
Much has been written about the Château des Dames. They were no ordinary women. They were strong, powerful, and ambitious. Business-minded and sometimes ruthless, they were no strangers to intrigue, deception, theft and infidelity.