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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 Three – Chateau Chinon

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The French Loire Chateau of Chinon isn’t the first French Chateau that usually pops into the minds of popular imagination.

Sad, but understandable. when you consider the heavyweight competition from it’s French Chateau neighbours. Consider: The “oo-ah” factor of Chenonceau. Bascially a stone bridge over the untroubled waters of the Cher.

The architectural magnificence of Chambord. The Da Vinci connection of Amboise. And, not to be forgotten, the “under age girl marries a King” ambience of Langeais.

Like it’s “cousin a coté” – Chateau Ussé – Chateau Chinon – is in the Touraine region of the Loire valley. And while a river does run past Chinon -it is the Vienne. Not the Loire.

And in the Touraine, you will be bombarded at hotels, bars, wine caves and all other manner of commercial establishments with the name: Rabelais. (Pronounced: Rab-lay) You can get the Rablelais story here.

Chinon’s other Historical milestone, is it’s connection with the girl who was the guest of honor at her own bar-b-que. Yes, Joan of Arc.

Her Chinonian presence is commemorated with a plaque and a dangling rope, at the spot where she tied up her horse back on the 25th of Februray, 1429.

Joan met for two days with Charles 7 . Seeking supplies and material to help in the seige of Orleans.( NOTE: Charles, while in Command at this time was not technically the “King” , but the Dauphin – as the throne , as usual, was being contested)

More about Joan here.

While it is undoubtedly the classic example of a sprawling medieval chateau(and that’s sprawling with a capital “S”) – Chinon has something going for it that’s truly unique.

That “something” is the palpable medieval ambiance of it’s old city. (le vieux Chinon) Yes, yes I know – EVERY city , in every corner of the World with a historical building has a tourist brochure that proclaims: “As you walk down the centuries old cobblestone streets,..you’ll be transported back and time and feel….yada,yada,yada…”

For me, Chinon’s “vieux ville” makes good on that unstated promise. You can catch my Chinon vibe, albeit, second hand, in THIS VIDEO.

THROW ME A BONE HERE, PEOPLE!

What are ya thinkin’?

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19 Responses to “French Loire Chateaus Part Three – Chateau Chinon”

  1. frank endersly says:

    i won’t say this is your best post ever…(altho’ i want to!)..but it’s ONE of your best posts every!

  2. candace trumann says:

    i’m with you 110% there frank!..just when you think Da Bg couldn’t possibly top his last post….he goes ahead and does just that.

  3. don wilson says:

    really exceptional video….obvious you took more than a little time with this…and it shows.

  4. emmie waters says:

    i was going to compliment you on the video…..but don beat me to it! thanks to both of you.

  5. geri walters says:

    totally agree with your line about” every city with a historical building”..the “cobblestone streets..etc” – right on.

  6. jess best says:

    your video absolutely convinced me that i must make the old town – not the chateau – my first stop in chinon. and yes, i did feel the medieval atmosphere from your video.

  7. carla stavers says:

    great opening photo..plus fantastic post and video. 3 outa 3!

  8. harriet wilmot says:

    never knew much at all about joan of arc -except she was burned at the stake – until this post. thanks for filling in the gaps in my historically challenged mind.

  9. joan waters says:

    harriet..thanks for saving me the words – u was in the same historically challenged boat.

  10. kyle martin says:

    joan and harriet…..understand…….but my historical challenge was rabelais. never heard of the guy.

  11. ralph williams says:

    kyle…being dead for 3 or 400 years..does normally give you a very low profile…unless you’re known world wide for centuries for literature, music or killing people who aren’t down with your religion.

  12. amber dennis says:

    alrighty everyone…perhaps the best -and honest statement to make..is that the majority of us don’t know JACK about French History!…and that’s why we’re lucky to have Da Bg.

  13. simon greenway says:

    right on amber…and even luckier to have someone who tells it like it wasz -simply – without “dumbing down.”

  14. paul zender says:

    bravo for all of this entertaining – yet informative post and video. would that all who tread the same road have your talent and high standards.

  15. damien moran says:

    yet another great french adventure! – current and historical – the best of both worlds. excellent choice of images in your video. really DOES convey the medieval ambience.

  16. emmie waters says:

    with ya 100% there damien….but shouldn’ your phrase really be :”does convey (what we IMAGINE to be) the medieval ambience?”

  17. damien moran says:

    well spotted emmie. and too true. jow many “medieval” sterotypes have we all ingested from tv and movies?

  18. emmie waters says:

    way too much to ever hope to know what every day life was like then. except the reality that for everyone except royalty…it wasn’t a walk in the park.

  19. damien moran says:

    too true emmie. bottom line: we weren’t there. and if you’re not – everything is second hand. at best!

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