In France, many legendary castles attract attention of tourists. We first arrived at Chenonceau, only castle built on water in Loire Valley in central France.
It is known that castle was built between 1514 and 1522.
This gray castle, full of legends of French royal family, is majestic, elegant and romantic. All of her previous owners of castle were women, and in history they were called "women's castle." The extraordinary life of these women owners of castle is intertwined with history of French royal family. In 1547, King Henry II of France gave Chenonceau to his mistress Diane de Poitiers. Diana built a long bridge over River Cher, making Chenonceau only castle in world with a bridge.
After death of Henry II, Queen Catherine de Medici, who remained neglected for many years, expelled Diana and became mistress of Chenonceau. Catherine added a two-story promenade to long bridge built by Diana. After Queen Catherine Chenonceau, Queen Louise de Lorraine succeeded Henry III.
After death of Henry III, Queen Louise in mourning clothes, known in history as "Queen in White", wandered around castle all year round. After Louise, Chenonceau never returned to hands of French royal family.
In time of Louis XIV, Chenonceau was bought by daughter of a banker, Madame Louis Dupin. Madame Dupin is grandmother of famous French writer George Sand and Rousseau's lover. Mrs. Dupin often set up salons on two-storey quai de Chenonceau, which restored Chenonbourg to its original splendor.
Thanks to Madame Dupin's good popularity, she protected Chenonceau from fanatical revolutionary masses during French Revolution. During World War I, embankment across Cher River was used as a military hospital to house over 2,000 wounded soldiers. During World War II, one end of castle's living quarters was occupied by Germans, while other end of promenade was free territory. With help of an underground resistance organization, "green passage" of Chenonceau castle allowed many people to travel from Chenonceau. Escape to free zone along the promenade.