Chenonceau: a fairytale come true
Memories of France’s great Renaissance ladies, Queen Catherine de Médicis, her rival Diane de Poitiers, her daughter-in-law Mary Queen of Scots (and of France) are indeed forever attached to the place.
But Chenonceau did not sink into oblivion after the Renaissance. In the 18th century, it was the country residence of Louise Marie-Madeleine Dupin (left, by Nattier.) Daughter and wife of bankers, famous for her intellect and beauty, Madame Dupin hired Jean-Jacques Rousseau as her secretary, and he spent years there. Voltaire and Montesquieu were also her guests at Chenonceau.
If you have the good fortune of visiting the Loire Valley, please don’t miss this small marvel. The art collections are on a par with the architectural and historical interest of the place.