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The French Cycling Bicycle Gourmet - French Country Travel Life Film Maker and Author. Your non-snobby Gourmet Guide to food, wine travel and Lifestyle Adventure!

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French Loire Chateaus – Part One

French Loire Chateaus. Amboise. Angers. Azay.Blois. Brissac.Chambord. Chinon.Chenonceau.Cheverny.Fontainebleau. Langeais. Villandry.

No shortage of French Chateaus on the Loire. Mainly because it was the playground of French Kings. Who knew a good thing when they saw it.

While all of the Loire River Chateaus have their particular and, dare I say, “individual” contributions to French History and Culture, there is one French Chateau that, for me, stands head and shoulders above the rest.

This one:

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It’s not the oldest.The Biggest. Or the most Historic. But what puts it at the top of my French Loire Chateau hit parade, is it’s combination of Classic French Chateau and English Country Garden.

And with the “river ” that runs through it – (actually a small canal) the Chateau l’islette is well named.

It was here, during the “on” period of their “on again – off again” romance that the dynamic duo of 19th century sculpture – Auguste Rodin and Camille Claudel parked their marble and chisels.

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The expansive greenery of this French Loire Chateau ,bisected by the waterway (which you can rent canoes to paddle on) give the Chateau l’islette a laid back, family vibe. In contrast to it’s uptight cousin, Azay le Rideau, two kms. down the road ,where eating on the grounds is a “no – no” – Chateau Rodin/Camille is “picnic friendly” – to the extent of having a dedicated picnic area alongside the water. Complete with benches and cosy chairs.

Legend has it (and if you can’t trust “legend”, who can you trust?) that Camille created one of her most celebrated works in this tranquil atmosphere – “le petite Chatelaine” –  modelled after the grandaughter of the chateau’s owner.

 

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Naturally, there’s the obligatory gift shop/snack bar/coffee shop perfectly placed between the Chateau and the waterway, where you can munch and sip while gasping at the wonders on either side.

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As you may remember from this post, to say the end of the romantic road was a rocky one for Camille, is the height of understatement.

But this French Loire Chateau hideaway, reflects, and draws us into a gentler, happier time. Where time passes slowly. Carrying us contentedly along. (And isn’t that the best way?)

THROW ME A BONE HERE, PEOPLE!

What are ya thinkin’?

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26 Responses to “French Loire Chateaus – Part One”

  1. ron williams says:

    wow!..is the only word to describe this place! want to go!!!

  2. sandy breean says:

    that’s a big “youbetcha” from me too ron. and a big tip o’ the hat to da bg!

  3. stanford carleton says:

    While I’m familiar with a great number of French Loire Chateaus..somehow this one escaped me; Until now. You never cease to amaze.(and delight) Please don’t stop!

  4. mandy roberts says:

    amazing! – and never would have known about it except for you. got it at the top of my “chateaus to do” list.

  5. clarise lane says:

    hey mandy…better make that “cheateaus to do” NEXT SPRING…becasue it’s closed now.

  6. jack pennyman says:

    we all agree it’s a fantastic find..but what i think is cool..(that da bg didn’t mention) is that it’s privately owned.

  7. roger watkins says:

    great detective work jack….so..that means that right now…those happy owers are chillin’ in front of a fireplace too big for us to even imagine?

  8. jack pennyman says:

    roger….if i were a betting man….that would be my bet!

  9. frank endersly says:

    oh to escape there with the weather we’re having now!

  10. wilma possun says:

    hey frank – all it takes is a plane ticket!

  11. val carter says:

    so true wilma…also so true is the fact the chateau is now closed.

    and there’s one other truth….can you guess what it is?

  12. wilma possun says:

    val…could that possibly be….the French weather?

  13. val carter says:

    wilma…you ARE smarter than the average bear!

  14. bob best says:

    looking forward to the next installment of this series.

  15. gerry marsden says:

    with ya there bob…fantastic way for armchair travellers to get through winter!

  16. calvin rhine says:

    i’ve been there. but, only becasue we happened on it by chance. so – glad to see DA BG is sharing the wealth (as always!)

  17. priscilla paris says:

    same deal here calvin…we were headed for azny le rideau when we saw the sign…it first we thought we’d arrived at anzy (stupid americans (lol)) but sool relaied this was something different.

  18. ned ashton says:

    hey priscilla and calvin….we’ve had similar experience…..and having been to both…islette is by far our favorite.

  19. clarise lane says:

    abfab in the extreme!..truly fairy tale stuff!

  20. agnes carter says:

    clarise.;with ya there 110%. got this one on “places you must not miss or you’re a loser” list!

  21. pete wilson says:

    your selection of images is great. very well considered. and exceptional quality. you clearly spent some time on this aspect of your post.

  22. earle birdle says:

    pete…your reply gives me the impression you aren’t aware that “DA BG” is also a professional photographer. just click on “IMAGES” on the nav. bar at the top of the page – and you’ll see the proof.

  23. pete wilson says:

    many thanks earle. I wasn’t aware. and now i am. and clicking!

  24. cindy remens says:

    following your link to your earlier post about camille claudel gives a larger, and much sadder perspective to this positive post. yet another woman manipulated by men, the system of her time, and most tragically, by her own mother!

  25. diane butler says:

    cindy – after reading your comment – i checked out that post. beyond imagination -her talent, and how she suffered. too sad.

  26. northrop stevens-benn says:

    diane and cindy – equally sad, from an artistic viewpoint is the contention by many art experts that more than a few Rodin sculptures were totally the work of camille claudel.

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