The beautiful Chateau de Chenonceau, located in the Loire Valley, region of Centre is one of the most visited chateaux in France. When we held a French photo competition, it’s no surprise that we received no less than 3 Chateau de Chenonceau photos!
The picture above shows the chateau on a sunny day with a formation of rainbow coloured clouds in the sky. The image was sent in to us by Bev Doliber in Spain who visited the chateau and took the photo. She says “We took this photo on a day with a sunny sky and no rain in sight as we were leaving Château de Chenonceau in June. It was an amazing sight; no one could believe their eyes.” Known as a circumhorizontal arc this is an optical phenomenon – an ice-halo formed by plate-shaped ice crystals in high level cirrus clouds. Sometimes called a “fire rainbow” though nothing to do with fire or a rainbow. This is a rare phenomenon in northern Europe as the sun needs to be very high in the sky and that only happens for around 160 hours each year in this part of France.
Often described as ‘the ladies chateau’ thanks to the number of lady owners who have helped to shape it’s destiny including Diane de Poitiers who was gifted the chateau by her lover Henri II of France.
The photo below shows the Chateau de Chenonceau in 1938, now, nearly 100 years later, nothing has changed. (Photo from Peter Jones in the UK).
The Chateau de Chenonceau gardens are famous for their colourful displays and with 130,000 bedding plants being used for summer planting displays it’s easy to see why. But it’s not just the castle grounds that are awash with colour – the village of Chenonceaux is also very pretty. Old houses festooned with window boxes, walls hung with vines and wisteria plants, birds flitting about and charming old houses.
Photo of a cottage at Chenonceaux by Karen Stephen, San Ramon, California US.