Built with graceful arches across the River Cher, the romantic Château de Chenonceau is one of the most famous and photographed of the Loire Valley castles. Construction began in the 16th century on the site of an old mill and is a mix of late Gothic and early Renaissance. Diane de Poitiers, mistress of Henry II, is credited with planting extensive gardens. When Henry died, his wife Catherine de'Medici forced her former rival to trade for the Château de Chaumont and proceeded to put in her own gardens and to add the grand gallery across the river. Closing hours vary somewhat according to season.
Château Chenonceau, Loire Valley, Chenonceaux, France