Places,  Renaissance

Secrets of History looks at Catherine de Medici’s influence on Loire Chateaux

You can’t travel across the Loire Valley without encountering Catherine de Medici. During her time as Queen of France and Regent, she exerted an incredible influence on the locations where the court worked and played.

Thanks to our friends at Secrets of History, Catherine’s long- reaching influence of the chateaux of the Loire Valley comes to life in this video. It’s in French with no subtitles, but it’s well worth a view.

When you’re through watching that video, take a look at this one about the chateaux of the Loire Valley.

The most “Catherine” of the chateaux by far is Chenonceau. I remember over twenty years ago watching a show called “Great Castles of Europe” that told the story of Catherine and Diane de Poitier fighting over ownership of the property. I felt so sorry for Catherine when she executed her self design of interlocking “Cs” and “Hs” that turned into “Ds.”

Catherine de Medici’s bedroom at Chenonceau

The infamous intertwined C and H pattern on the floor tiles at Chenonceau.

Catherine’s most beautiful and practical addition to the chateau is the two story bridge across the Cher River. The modern chateau leaves the bottom floor empty to demonstrate how it could be used as a ballroom, while the upper floor is a museum of fine arts.

The bridge over the River Cher at Chenonceau, lower floor.