Not Just Your Ordinary House

Palace of Fontainebleau
Palace of Fontainebleau

The Loire Valley in France is home to many chateaus that were the places where French royalty  and bourgeoisie chose to spend much of their time.  These are not just your ordinary houses.  They are enormous structures, many dating back to the 16th century, used as second homes in the summer.

Chateau of Cheverny
Chateau of Cheverny

What these chateaus have in common are amazing architectural details.

Chateau de Chambord
Chateau de Chambord

Some appear to have been influenced by a variety of architectural styles

Chateau d'Amboise
Chateau d’Amboise

while others have a combination of Gothic and Renaissance features indicating that sections of the chateau were constructed at different times.

Chateau of Chenonceau
Chateau of Chenonceau

Here, the structure is one that could be right out of a fairy tale!  

French chateauNot only is it in a magical setting,  the interior is a delight, especially the kitchen which has enough copper cookware to stock several Williams Sonoma stores!

French chateauIt was fascinating to learn that the contents of the chateaus were hauled back and forth between homes.  Considering the size of these places, that sounds like a most daunting task.

French chateauBeds were particularly important furnishings because they were a sign of wealth.  Speaking of beds, they are shorter than ours today but not necessarily because people were smaller but because they slept sitting almost erect for fear of choking.  Now, that’s an interesting little tidbit.

tapestry There is much to see in each chateau, but what got my attention again and again were the tapestries.

tapestryThey were in every room,

tapestrysometimes one for every wall.  How could I not think that  weavers in those long ago days were kept very busy.

Chateau de Blois
Chateau de Blois

Considering the age of these magnificent structures, I am once again struck by the accomplishments in periods where the actual building process was so primitive compared to today.  One can only hope that something in our time should last so long.

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20 thoughts on “Not Just Your Ordinary House

  1. So beautiful! I have always loved old structures, especially castles and farmhouses. Totally different, but for some reason both have always made me curious. The chateau is lovely and I too am amazed by the work required of a tapestry of that size. Thank you for sharing!
    Blessings from Still Woods Farmhouse

    1. I’m a weaver so you can imagine how enthralled I was with the tapestries.

  2. Gorgeous images! Thank you for sharing these with us! I, too, am often struck with how beautiful and complex building design was during these periods of history –especially given the resources they had.

    1. Yes, the genius of these very old constructions is staggering. Makes me wonder if we are leaving anything so lasting behind.

      1. I often wonder that too… especially when we live in a society where so much is made to be disposable including furniture, appliances, houses, etc.

  3. That pink bed is really gorgeous, now that is interesting about sleeping setting up!!! Can you imagine moving those tapestries?

    1. Hey, I can’t imagine moving any of the stuff that must have filled the spaces. It must have taken lots of wagons and horses.

  4. It is amazing to think about the building skills and craftmanship during the time periods these chateaus were built. The tapestries are incredible. I haven’t seen as many different scenes as you have shown before. Quite a collection.

  5. WOW, it is hard to imagine a family and not a whole town living in that first chateau! They are all works of art.
    Happy Mother’s Day, Linda.

    1. Agreed, Marigene. I kept thinking they must have a lot of company or an awful lot of servants to fill all the rooms. The.gathering rooms would be great places to have a big party!

  6. These places are just pure Beauty ….you must be thoroughly enjoying yourself. God Bless. Kitt.

    1. Thank you, Kitt. It is a great experience and I am blessed to have such.

  7. What a fascinating tour! Thank you. Isn’t it amazing that these were considered summer homes? It’s hard to imagine how many people and servants there must have been to need this kind of a structure. They are gorgeous, of course. I had no idea about sleeping sitting up for fear of choking – that’s new information!

    Thanks so much for joining in this week.


    1. What astonished me even more is that furniture was transported from one place to another. Talk about needing a lot of people!

  8. What wonderful places…..errr…palaces!! We are now just down the road from you…in Beautiful Avignon…belly full of escargot!!

    1. Love Avignon and the surrounding area. That’s my favorite part of France.

  9. The chateaux of the Loire are all amazing…did you get to go the Villandry? The gardens there during spring are absolutely amazing.

  10. Wow, I so learned something new! I never knew they slept sitting up for fear of choking! And the beds are so beautiful! I also found you on How Sweet The Sound Linky party. I hope you can come visit me 😀

    Teresa @ Freebies 4 My Family!

  11. Yep…these all look pretty much like the houses in my neighborhood. I’m pretty sure that first one looks exactly like our house, except ours has a red door! 😉

    These are all magnificent! Isn’t it wild how people actually LIVE(D) in homes this size??!?!?! And some as big as this are actually SECOND homes??!?!! Some people’s whole houses aren’t as big as one room in these places!!! WILD!!!!

    It’s always fun to look and dream! Thanks for sharing, Linda! Happy Mother’s Day!

    1. No tables set as lovely as yours.

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