The ‘Ladies’ Château’: Château de Chenonceau

Larger Than Life: Art that inspires us through the ages

In 1547, the château was given as a gift by King Henry II to his favorite mistress Diane de Poitiers, who commissioned Pacello da Mercoliano to design and build the gardens and entrusted architect Philibert de l’Orme with the task of building a bridge over the Cher River to extend the gardens to the other shore. (Ra-smit/GFDL)
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If there was ever a monument of architecture dedicated to the feminine soul, Château de Chenonceau should be that testament. The medieval castle that dominates the right bank of the Cher River in France’s Loire Valley exists only because of the women who loved this regal residence. Built upon the ruins of a 12th-century medieval structure, Château de Chenonceau is now a far cry from the dark bastion it was once. Instead, today’s visitors see the evolut
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