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art Oct 18th, 2000 12:04 PM

Please, could you describe how is like the chateaux of the Loire Valley from the inside?
Hi there! Thanks a lot for your wonderful comments and tips on my previous posting about how to make a trip to the Val du Loire without car. Now i would love if some of you could help with this one, because i see a lot of pictures of the exterior of the castles, but i keep think there is very little to do and/or see once you are inside them. Is this true? Many thanks in advance! <BR>

elvira Oct 18th, 2000 04:00 PM

I'll use Amboise as an example: walls and other 'infrastructure' in good condition; at first I thought they were short on furniture, until I realized that chateaux/castles didn't have an abundance of furniture in each room; either take the guided tour, or have a 'guidebook' of some sort with you so that you get the interesting facts "and here is where Charles X got beaned by a tennis ball". If you read up a little ahead, you can pick which chateaux interest you, rather than going to a chateau or two, then finding out you skipped the one where da Vinci is buried. <BR> <BR>No matter which one(s) you choose, there is plenty to see and learn. And no matter which one(s) you pick, you'll be sorry you missed the others! <BR> <BR>As an example, go to <BR> <BR>videos of the rooms! <BR> <BR>Enjoy your visit, and report back (that is an order, Mr Sulu, not a request).

Christina Oct 19th, 2000 02:03 PM

I've only been in a few and they do vary depending on how much money has been invested in them for tourism, etc. But, you are generally right, there is not much in them; the ones I saw had basically empty rooms, they are not fully furnished in an attempt to reproduce the living arrangements when they were inhabited (which I would have liked). I visited Chenonceau, Amboise, Blois, and of course I've been to some other chateaux like Chantilly and Fontainebleau outside the Loire. I don't recall any of them really being furnished very much at all (maybe Fontainebleau to some degree, it's been the longest since I've been there so I can't recall). The ones I mentioned above that I visited were all nice and interesting for historical and architectural reasons, but the rooms were mostly empty and there is not that much to see inside. The one in Blois has unfortunately been "refurbished" with some awful red flocked wallpaper or something that looks very tacky, as I recall (my exact memories are dim, but I remember it was ugly wallpaper). Because there is not much to really see inside, walking in the gardens is often important and pleasant--Chantilly, Chenonceau and Fontainebleau have wonderful gardens. I think I probably spent only about an hour in each chateau. Chantilly is very nice because it has a small but interesting art museum inside it and that town is known for its horses and horse racing so there is the Museum of the HOrse there, also. You can now get to Chantilly on the RER, I recommend it highly as a nice day trip if you don't get to the Loire.

franco Jan 30th, 2001 03:23 PM

True about not much to look at inside. The outside & the gardens are the highlight, so wait at least 'til mid-April when things start blooming. <BR>

Lesli Jan 30th, 2001 03:41 PM

The Chateau de Cheverny actually has quite a lot of beautiful furnishings, and so much decorative painting in the grander rooms that it's a bit overwhelming! It has been in the same family for 6 centuries, and was lived in until something like the 1960's. So the private apartments, while filled with lovely antiques, are also homey, in a grand way. <BR> <BR>(This is also the place with all the hounds, I believe....) <BR> <BR>

jo ann Jan 30th, 2001 03:43 PM

I would only add that some of the details, even in scantly furnished rooms, can be quite interesting. On our trip in '99, I actually thought there was a good bit of interest in Chenonceaux, moldings, some tapestries I seem to recall?, and this time I went down to the kitchens, which have a "door" out to the moat/river area, where "deliverymen" came early on with foodstuffs. So, still interesting, altho it is also so fun to wander the grounds. <BR>Also, if you are near Amboise, visit the nearby home/smaller chateau of Leonardo da Vinci, "Clos de Luce". Some rooms are indeed furnished (I found it quite magical to be in his bedroom looking out the small window towards Amboise, and imagining the scene during his life.) And then you head down to the basement, not for furnishings, but for models made by IBM engineers from his sketches! Truly fascinating!!!

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