The history of Chenonceau is fascinating - as it was constructed for and continually owned by women who through some wild parties.
I was even more fascinated by the more recent history - here's an excerpt from what portends to be my next book - I hope you can take the time to read it:
Why I wondered was the chateau called Chenonceau whereas the village Chenonceaux? Howard Hillman’s explanation is that citizens were trying to destroy possessions connected with royalty. Since ‘x’ was a symbol for royalty, Madame Dupin dropped the letter ‘x’ as a precautionary measure and it was thus saved. An alternative view is that it was saved because it was the only bridge across the river for many miles. In 1864, Daniel Wilson, a Scotsman who had made a fortune installing gaslights throughout Paris, bought the chateau for his daughter. In the tradition of Catherine de Medici, she spent all her fortune on elaborate parties and the chateau was seized and sold to an American. In 1913, the Menier family, famous in France for their chocolates, bought the chateau. Their story alone would require an episode in any movie. Here was a man who turned a pharmaceutical business that coated the pills in chocolate to the world’s largest gold-medal winning chocolate producer with a factory in Noisel, France as well as in London, and a distribution centre in New York. In 1872 he is credited with building a factory at Noisel that used the first iron framework structure requiring only a brick infill. It housed 2,000 workers producing 125,000 tonnes of chocolate annually but they were in short supply locally so he built over 300 houses to attract them from elsewhere and provided a school for their children and three decades later a retirement home. He built a new town hall for Noisel where a member of the family served as mayor from 1871 to 1959. As business boomed the family built the first reinforced concrete building and then Pont Hardi a wonderful 44.50 metres long record-breaking-single-arched-concrete bridge across the Marne River to link factory buildings. Did he get his design ideas from Chenonceau? As part of its sales strategy, Menier introduced small dark chocolate sticks to be inserted into a piece of bread. To raise their profile and sell more chocolate, in towns and cities all over France, the company set up ‘chocolate kiosques’. Their hexagon shape and peaked roof became the standard for newspaper kiosques. The business was affected by World War I and declined against Swiss and American chocolate makers who were unaffected. But during World War I the gallery at Chenonceau was used as a hospital ward and during the Second War it was a means of escaping from the Nazi occupied Vichy zone on one side of the River Cher to the woods and free zone on the opposite bank. The Menier’s business was eventually sold to the British company Rowntree Mackintosh in 1971 that were subsequently acquired by Swiss company Néstle in 1988. The Menier family are reported to still own Chenonceau to this day; their chocolate factory on London’s Southwark Street was converted to an arts complex with restaurant and theatre.
Obviously I made this one to easy, ScotJimland is right. It a very nice place to spend the day. It also has an Aires for camper vans close to the main carpark on the left as you enter the driveway. Lots of space for the largest RV another venue for members. Hope you had fun, next one will be a lot harder.:thumb: