Castles in the air : Part II

The other day I took you on a journey with me through the Loire Valley Castles in France. If you missed it you’ll find it here:

Today we’ll be taking a brief tour through the Chateau d’Amboise but before we go inside, here are a few more pictures of the castle from outside:

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 During the 15th and 16th centuries it became a favourite of the French kings as a place to house their wives and children while they sought the company of their mistresses elsewhere. King Henry II and his wife, Catherine de Medici lived here along with Mary Stuart the child queen of Scotland, who had been promised to the future king Francois II. These were to be the glory years at the chateau prior to its decline and loss of favour with the Royals.Paris & Montreux Jazz Festival 2012 039_1024

Given the depth of the foundations of this castle, the picture above hints at the many hidden entrances, tunnels as you ascend through various levels. Of course there were no elevators and so the kings would ride with horse and carriage through this passageway to the top level bedroom suites. Imagine doing that these days! 

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The picture above gives you a sense of how lofty the rooms were. Many balls, feasts and tournaments were held in this castle. Again, I’d like to draw your attention to the intricacy of architectural design and embellishment including the stories sculpted into the wall above the fireplace on the left hand side.

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Beautifully engraved walls and stained glass window art

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Many of the castles have these tapestries on the walls which each weave intricate storytelling.

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Enter one of the bedroom chambers below:Paris & Montreux Jazz Festival 2012 067_1024

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There isn’t too much of the furniture left due to the destruction of wars but the pictures below will give indication of the decor from various centuries:

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Join me next Sunday for Part III which will walk you through another castle.




24 thoughts on “Castles in the air : Part II

    1. Thank you Ron – it was an amazing experience and when I look at the pictures I that I’d take pictures with a much more discerning eye. On the other hand the camera lens can also be a deterrent to soaking up the moment. So I’m glad I got to do a bit of both:-)

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    1. Hello T. feels like I haven’t chatted to you in ages. I am just on your blog right now – been struggling with access to internet today.
      Thank you for stopping by and I’m glad you appreciated the history in these photographs as well. I’m a History major amongst other things but I think you only get to appreciate history when it is relevant to you or you compare it with your reality. So on the one hand, I was conscious that monuments like these were built during the feudal system but I also can’t divorce myself from appreciating the ingenuity, the beauty and sometimes the reasons why and how things evolved. I added the picture of the foundation to Part I today so that one can see how much space there was for those tunnels and passageways I refer to.
      My cousin and I spent the day in an antique shop yesterday – purportedly to have breakfast there. It’s one of my favorite places because you walk into a section that takes you back into another timezone with gramaphones and gramaphone music, then classical music so go with the classical masterpieces of furniture. Some of the furniture reminds me of my late grandmother’s house on the farm they once had and so much nostalgia with it. The the quaint little restaurant inside has a music jukebox playing music from the 60s.

      Suffice it to say that we did a lot more than have breakfast. I walked away with a pretty little Davenport desk (those little Victorian desks that ladies of old used to write letters to their lovers on scented paper ha!ha!) anyway now perfect for my blogging activities:-)
      You’ll see some more of those beautiful antiques in my future posts. I suppose while I appreciate modernism, we have to give credit to true craftsmanship and art. I had the same fascination in Egypt- more of which I’d like to share in the future.
      More from me soon:-)

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      1. I’ll definitely be on the lookout. I’ve been kind of busy myself, Chevvy. Haven’t been getting out to other blogs as much as I would like. Trying to do some “spring cleaning” both in the home and on the computer—the emails and messages had begun to pile way too high. Not quite finished, but took some time to read someone else’s writings rather than sit and figure out what I wanted to say for once.

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        1. No sweat at all and that decluttering is always necessary. I’ve also been trying to expand my horizons in catching up with others and getting that balance right is work in itself. But good to see you still:-)

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                  1. There’s some recent history behind it-my friend (who did the video) called it the Tracy, and since I’ve been known to write about doing a two-step to certain songs, several bloggers (mostly Lisa from Life of an El Paso Woman) put the two together to call it the Tracy Two-Step. It must be complicated if the person that it’s named after doesn’t do it right on the first take! 🙂

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                    1. ha!ha! – hey it was good anyway coz I say so. Btw, I responded to your morning groove post but it seemed to have been cut by my internet connection – I’ll try again soon.

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  1. Chevvy first let me say that these are absolutely awe inspiring. I love the fact that you know so much about the architecture and the history. I had to laugh at the fact that the Kings had to take carriages to get around their own castle.

    Like you, I marvel at the fact that these treasures were built during a time when folks had to do hard work without the benefit of the resources that we have today. It’s not lost on me that many people probably died trying to do this.

    Anyway, thanks for the part II!

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    1. Yes, I laughed to at the fact that they had to travel to their beds. Wait until you see what the toilet looked like. Yes, much as I enjoyed seeing all this, there must have been many tragedies in those walls but that applies in so many areas of society. In our case I think of mining as an example and what it takes for us to wear jewellery.

      Still,I love what Shirley Mclaine said her last book “I’m over that.” She has travelled extensively and she talks about how travel teaches you so much about yourself – it puts your prejudices, values,perspectives etc to the test.
      Heck you were supposed to be the politician not me. Let me get off my podium:-)

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              1. She has written about 27 books, I’ve only read “I’m over that” nice easy read but great it sharing lots of life experience and things not to be bothered with if like her – you’ve seen and done it al.

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    1. Thanks again my dear – yes, it is indeed something to marvel. I’m so glad that you enjoyed it:-) Many of these old buildings need to be restored continuously but the original designs and craftmanship belong to another era:-)

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