As we close in on our next trip to Europe, we had better share with you all those unseen photos from our last European escapade! There are sure to be thousands more photos taken on our next visit as well so we’d hate for these photos to be forgotten about. That’s the problem with being Melbourne photographers when you go on a holiday, you take thousands of photos everywhere you go!

Château Chenonceau – the Ladies Chateau

If you haven’t realised yet, one of my absolute favourite things about Europe are the castles! During our last visit to Europe, I got my castle fix down in the Loire Valley in France. The Loire Valley is full of castles and we were pretty castled out after visiting a handful of them. After some research, we headed off to the best castles nestled within the Loire Valley. Chateau Chenonceau, which spans across the River Cher, is a favourite amongst tourists visiting the region. It was one of our favourites as well.

Chenonceau, know as the ‘ladies chateau’, is architecturally beautiful and it’s grounds are perfectly manicured. The castle’s design and construction was overseen by the influential women who resided there over the course of history. Roaming around inside the castle, you can only imagine how life might have been for those who occupied this luxurious residence. So much extravagant space, I suspect that it would have been hard to occupy it all. It’s amazing that people lived in something as extravagant as this, and there are still some living in even more luxury today!

If you look into the history of these castles, there’s a lot of sadness which surrounds the lives of those who resided there. The castle had been torched once and bombed a couple of times during the First World War. It also acted as a hospital for the wounded. The most significant damage was caused by flooding of the Cher River. Thankfully it was restored to it’s former glory for castle lovers like myself to enjoy. It is the most visited castle in France, after Versailles. 

We visited the Loire Valley just out of the busy season so we were able to enjoy our castles without having to queue up for long at most places. We were also able to enjoy quiet corners of each castle (apart from Versailles which is always busy!). Walking through these castles seemed as if we were walking through a fairytale. After taking in the lavish decor of the castle’s interior, we strolled the beautiful gardens. We stayed until the end, leaving as the gates were closing.

The Grand Gallery of Chateau Chenonceau blew us away with it’s large arched windows and it’s black and white checkered floor. Being in spaces like this makes me wish that I was wearing an elaborate ball gown! My little silk burgundy dress was a little easier to tour the Loire Valley in. As for the stiletto heels, there’s always room for a pair in my bag – it just looks better in photos!

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