Chateau de Chenonceau

When approaching the moat entrance to Château de Chenonceau, it may seem at first like it is not that big. But the surprise is in what's behind it – a massive gallery that spans the Cher River. In fact, a bird's-eye view would confirm that the entire castle sits squarely in the river! This 16th-century castle was built on the foundation of an existing water mill and has a history of its chatelaines making their own mark on its interior, exterior and grounds – the largest contribution coming from Catherine de' Medici, who was also responsible for showing the first fireworks in France.

After being used as a hospital during World War I and part of Nazi-occupied France in World War II (and thus bombed), today the castle is beautifully restored and receives hundreds of thousands of visitors each year. These visitors enjoy not only a full tour of the interior, including the gallery over the river, but also the extensive gardens and a donkey park. At night during the summer months there is also a Night Walk through the beautifully lit grounds–a must for a romantic night out.

Practical Info

Château de Chenonceau is open all year round–useful if traveling over the holidays. It opens at 9:30 am from November through March and 9 a.m. the rest of the year; closing times vary between 5 and 8 p.m. through the year, so check before planning a late visit. The base price is €11, with discounts for children and students and additional fees for audio tours. Children under 7 enter free. There are three restaurants on the grounds, ranging from high-end to cafeteria style.
Adres: Chenonceaux, France 37150, Frankrijk
Openingstijden: Varies by season
Toegang: Adults €11
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