France had played a pivotal role in the emergence, development, and spread of the Renaissance era. The country has always been known for being the cradle of art and architecture. It had the best artists and architects in the ancient times, and the kings and noblemen did their best to provide support to these amazing craftsmen.
The entire area along the banks of the River Loire is dotted with grand castles, which were inhabited by the royals and noblemen. Even after the King of France shifted the capital to Paris, a larger percentage of the affluent people opted to stay in these marvelous palaces. These castles later came to be known as the Châteaux of the Loire Valley.
If you want to marvel at the construction workers and the architects of the Renaissance era, then you must pay a visit to the Chenonceau castle. Set in the perfect plot of land, bordered by the River Cher, it has a quality that will take your breath away. The architects stayed true to the laws of architecture and paid homage to Mother Nature with this creation. But it is mainly known for its dark past and how it served as a seat for debauchery and skullduggery.
There are stories that the governess, Diane-de-Poitiers, later become the mistress of Henri II. It is shocking to know that Diane-de-Poitiers was the governess of the king once and though she was 20 years older than him, he was smitten by the grace and charm of this lady.
Compiling the list of Châteaux of the Loire Valley will not be complete without the mention of Amboise castle. The make and look of the place scream tradition from all corners. From the design of the tall towers to the old railings, every aspect is dominated by the patterns of the Renaissance era. The palace has had the honor of housing many kings of France.
Charles VIII commanded the construction of ramps, which allowed the carriages to be driven up to the very level of the château. The palace has also seen the deaths of many kings and prominent people of French Royal families. Many Protestants were sentenced to death by hanging from the railings of the castle, once they failed to execute their plan of abducting Louis XII.
Another fairy tale cut out castle in the valley happens to be the Villandry Châteaux. If you are in love with flowers, then you must see this place. The beauty of the castle is enhanced several folds by the presence of the many gardens. If you are thinking of normal manicured palace gardens, then you are wrong. These gardens are shaped in geometric formations and placed strategically. You will see terraced gardens, lined with shrubs, containing flowers of every color that one can imagine. These gardens look nothing less than a landscape painting. The presence of fountains and birdbaths completes the entire picture. The castle is a rare combination of art, architecture, and nature.