Tag Archives: Loire valley

À vélo

I love to ride my bike, but I don’t love to slave over strenuous terrain. In New Jersey where I live, there are terrific, flat bike trails along former train lines and canal networks. It’s delightful. The French equivalent is … Continue reading

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Gîtes

In 1519, François I started to build the Château de Chambord – a 400 room hunting “lodge” in the Loire valley. Obviously, with 400 rooms, he intended to have lots of guests. Being a hospitable kind of guy, I think … Continue reading

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Concours d’élégance

The weekend of June 23 and 24, 2012 is the date for the second Anjou Vélo Vintage event. Starting in Saumur, in the Loire Valley, this weekend-long event features antique bikes, retro outfits, food and wine tasting, and fun with … Continue reading

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Un escalier en colimaçon

The royal Château de Blois is unlike the other castles of the Loire Valley; it’s not as “pretty”, but it has a rich history. It was the residence of 7 kings and 10 queens during the Renaissance era and the kings … Continue reading

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Potager

Yesterday, I talked about the beautiful parterres at the Château de Villandry.  Today I wanted to talk about the Château itself. In 1521, Francois I made Jean le Breton a Minister of Finance and gave him significant responsibility over the … Continue reading

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Un diamant taillé à facettes

Another of the charming châteaux of the Loire Valley is Azay-le-Rideau. Novelist Honoré de Balzac described it as “un diamant taillé à facettes, serti par l’Indre” (uhn dee-ah-mahn tieay ah fahset, sertea par lindruh), which means “a many-faceted diamond, set … Continue reading

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Casser la tete à quelqu’un

The Château d’Amboise traces its roots to medieval times. It was appropriated by the crown in the 15th century when Louis d’Amboise was convicted of plotting against the king. The French kings really liked Amboise and invested extensively in renovations … Continue reading

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Se faire des illusions

One of the prettiest villages in France is Apremont-sur-Allier, near Orléans. The ancient chateau belonged to the Saint-Saveur family. In 1894, the female heir married an industrialist named Eugène Schneider who played house on a grand scale, beautifying both the … Continue reading

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Aucun château n’est imprenable

The Château de Chambord is the largest of the Loire Valley castles. Although it has a keep, corner towers, and a moat, they were all for show and served no defensive purpose. This 440 room hunting lodge – yes, hunting … Continue reading

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Se regarder en chien de faïence

The Château de Cheverny was built in the early part of the 17th century on the foundations of an earlier château. It’s been in the hands of the Hurault family for six hundred years. Like Chenonceau, Cheverny is located in … Continue reading

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