Royal Châteaux of the Loire Valley
After this seminar, you'll know all there is to know about : Chenonceau Castle, Chambord Castle, Amboise Castle, King Francis I, Queen Catherine de' Medici, French Renaissance castles, King Henri II.
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Join us on a journey through the Loire Valley, in the heart of France, and discover three of the most stunning residences in the area : the Château of Amboise, the Château of Chambord and the Château of Chenonceau. Hear all about the Kings and Queens that lived there, the intrigues and political disasters they endured and the personal scandals they fell prey to in a fascinating exploration of the French royal court at its best.
Château of Amboise
During the first part of the seminar, we will discover the Château of Amboise, King Francis 1st ’ childhood home. We will see how the château changed from Gothic fortress to Renaissance palace and hear about the early years of King Francis’ reign, including the visit of Leonardo da Vinci at the nearby Clos-Lucé and his death in 1519. We will hear about Queen Catherine de’ Medici, wife of King Henri 2nd, and her five royal children that all grew up at Amboise, including future King Francis 2nd and his young fiancée, Mary Queen of Scots.
Château of Chambord
Next, we will explore the Château of Chambord, the iconic symbol of the French Renaissance constructed from scratch by King Francis 1st. Hear about the many stages of construction and discover why, despite its magnificent façades and spectacular architectural decor, it was the king’s least favourite residence in the Valley. Discover the many famous guests that stayed at the palace over the centuries, from Holy Roman Emperor Charles 5th to King Stanislas Leszczynski of Poland, and explore the details of the palace’s stunning Renaissance architecture.
Château of Chenonceau
Lastly, we will take a look at the Château of Chenonceau, one of the most startingly beautiful castles in the region. Also known as the « château des dames » (« the ladies’ castle »), it was owned and embellished by many illustrious women over the years, including King Henri 2nd’s misttress Diane de Poitiers, and his wife, Queen Catherine de’ Medici. Discover the rivalry between these two powerful women and hear about the extravagant festivities thrown at the château by the Queen, in celebration of her ultimate victory over her female rival.