A Night at Chambord & Chenonceau

While visiting these châteaux you just have to wonder–what’s it like at night when you are NOT ALLOWED to visit?  What does it feel like to, say, slink around in the shadows, watching the royals sleep?

Okay, that’s creepy.  But you kind of want to know, don’t you?  When nobody else is around but ghosts, when all is dark and silent, what mood stirs beneath the moonlight?  An imaginary nocturnal visit to Chambord and Chenonceau, if you will . . .

Chambord

Louis XIV Ceremonial Bedroom

(I didn’t scale down the resolution – click away for the full experience)

The dude who (occasionally) slept here

Louis XIV – Charles le Brun (1661)

The Queen’s Bedroom

Marie Thérèse of Austria, wife of Louis XIV – attributed to Charles Beaubrun (1666)

Chenonceau

Louise of Lorraine’s bedroom

The Lady in White (aka Louise de Lorraine-Vaudémont, one time Queen of France) designed this room for her retirement from Court.  In grief after the assassination of her husband Henri III, she bedded down here for the remainder of her years.  The matte black walls and white motifs are symbols of mourning.  Take a closer look at the chandelier-esque stencil on the lower lefthand wall.  It’s actually a cornucopia of eternal tears.  Images of death abound: crosses surrounded by spades and picks, widow’s cordons, crowns of thorns, and the Greek letter lambda to represent Louise’s and Henri’s initials intertwined.

I’m not sure what it says about me that I thought this room was amazing when I visited Chenonceau. I’m sure the pious Louise wouldn’t approve, but it looks positively witchy to me.

Regarding photography in this post:

Creative Commons License

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9 thoughts on “A Night at Chambord & Chenonceau

  1. Of the Loire Valley castles, Chenonceau is my favorite. We camped on the banks of the river Cher and almost a stone’s throw from Chenonceau.

      1. I love the gardens of Chenonceau as well. I was into the biography of Catherine de Medici at that time and got so curious about her and Diane de Poitier. 😉

  2. I have never visited either of these, but that bedroom of mourning and sadness certainly looks appealing. I guess if you spent the night there, you would hear Louise crying…

    1. I believe Louise’s bedroom would be awfully redolent of a ghost–and I mean that in an appealing way also. I don’t believe anyone could get much sleep there though.

      P.S. I apologize for the late reply and approval of your comment. Spam bot hoarded it in its clutches and I will now need to tell it to play nice with you 🙂

  3. chambord has always been my favorite chateau and all my friends know i’d have loved to live there so thank you a lot for creating a night image of the castle! i can almost feel the atmosphere and picture all the things one could do after sunset in a place like that!

    1. Thanks, Madame de Pique. That was a super fun post to write, mostly because I kept thinking, “What if? What if? Oh, what if?”

      If only we could all live in castles. Too bad in reality they are probably damned cold except in midsummer 🙂

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