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.