Cruising the Canal de Briare: a Barger’s Delight

Cruising the Canal de Briare: a Barger’s Delight

The picturesque Canal de Briare, which connects the valleys of the Seine and the Loire, is notable for a number of reasons apart from the delightful scenery through which it wends its way. A popular route for both private and commercial cruising vessels, the canal is renowned as one of the loveliest places for a barge holiday in France as well as being a highly impressive feat of engineering.
A Pioneering History

 

The canal is one of the country’s oldest manmade waterways, built between 1602 and 1642 under the patronage of Henry IV. When first constructed, it linked directly into the Loire at Montargis, but later in the nineteenth century the building of the famous Briare Aqueduct created a bypass to La Cognardière, 2.6km away. Despite its name, the aqueduct actually forms part of the Canal latéral à la Loire.

An Engineering Triumph

The canal was also the first to be constructed at summit level using “pound locks”, which feature a chamber with gates at either end to control the height of the water within. (Before then locks were created with a single gate.) A summit level canal first rises and then falls along its course, and in the case of the 57km Canal de Briare, it rises through 12 locks before falling through another 24 on an 85m descent.

During construction a number of artificial lakes were created in order to feed water into the locks. At the most precipitous location, Rogny, it was necessary to build what was in effect a “staircase” of seven locks in order to navigate the fall of the canal. While it was without a doubt an outstanding feat of engineering, the design caused huge hold-ups as each vessel had to navigate all seven locks before the next was able to pass through. In the end the staircase of locks was abandoned and the canal re-routed to bypass them, but the town was later renamed Rogny-les-Sept-Ecluses in their honour.

Attractions en Route

Along with the locks at Rogny-les-Sept-Ecluses, the many other attractions along the course of the canal make it a popular route for the itinerary of a barge holiday in France. In Montargis, one of the most renowned local businesses to have put this pretty town on the map is the Mazet Praline Shop. The confectioner still makes its praline treats to the recipe of founder, Leon Mazet, who opened the shop in 1903. As well as a range of chocolates and other delicacies, the shop is famous for its signature caramelised almond, the Prasline Mazet de Montargis.

Situated in the commune of Saint-Fargeau, the magnificent seventeenth-century Renaissance-style Château de Saint Fargeau is the cultural centrepiece of the region, with its chequered history dating back some one thousand years. Its present distinctive pentagonal construction surrounded by six imposing towers is built on top of an original fortress commissioned by Héribert, son of King Hugh Capet. Even though it is privately owned, many parts of the castle are open for public visitation.

From Ancient Trade to Modern Leisure

For many centuries the Canal de Briare existed as an important channel to transport coal, wood, wine and other supplies from the Loire Valley to Paris. Today, this beautiful waterway serves as one of the most appealing locations to explore on a barge holiday in France.

Paul Newman is the Marketing and E-Systems Executive for European Waterways, the UK’s most respected provider for those looking for an all-inclusive, luxury barge holiday in France or other great destinations in Europe. Part of a team of experienced barging aficionados, Paul is first in line to endorse the perks of a slow-paced barge cruise to anyone looking for a unique holiday experience.

The Military Might of Burgundy: Château de Bazoches

The Military Might of Burgundy: Château de Bazoches

One of the best but frequently overlooked ways to see Europe’s sights is by water. There’s nothing like cruising in a hotel barge and immersing yourself in the local scenery and culture, especially when there’s so much to see all around you. Join us aboard L’Art de Vivre on a journey through Burgundy, and soak up some of the finest attractions that France has to offer.
For lovers of France and military history alike, L’Art de Vivre will take you exactly where you’d like to go. The Château de Bazoches is a treasure trove of historical interest, military prowess and elegant architecture.

 

Back in Time

Dating back to the twelfth century, the grand château was originally built on a Roman site, overlooking the Morvan landscape. The estate itself originates from the fashionable antiquity of the seventeenth century, as evidenced by its magnificent architecture. Walking through its halls, you can easily imagine the courtiers of King Louis XIV strolling past you.

A True Genius

The most famous owner of the château is Sébastien Le Prestre de Vauban, widely renowned for his military genius. He purchased the estate following his enormous success in the siege of Maastricht, for which Louis XIV rewarded him with a large sum of money. His home became the headquarters for his strategic and fortification designs, which were widely respected and used by many French cities for over a century.

Ahead of his time, Vauban understood modern advances in technology and weaponry, making him a master of military planning. He would use intricate miniature ravelins, bastions and moats to further his ideas, and became a pioneer of the bayonet rifle, the iron-barrelled cannon and the mortar. His prowess in military engineering and strategy was unparalleled, so it’s no surprise that over 300 cities in France feature his designs, including Lille, Dunkirk and Bayonne.

Luxury Libraries

Château de Bazoches is also home to an extensive library, which contains over 5,000 books and is a must-see for literature enthusiasts. Vauban himself had a passion for literature, and penned his famous Royal Tithe during his time there. Unfortunately, his written criticism of the upper classes and the inequalities of the taxation system cost him his royal favour, causing him to fall from grace for the rest of his life.

Further Information

If the rich and varied history of this grand Burgundian house sounds too good to be true, what are you waiting for? European Waterways will take you on a luxury hotel barge cruise and ensure that you take in all of France’s best sights. For more information, don’t hesitate to explore our website or get in touch with our friendly team of experts.

Paul Newman is the Marketing and E-Systems Executive for European Waterways, the UK’s most respected provider of all-inclusive, luxury hotel barge holidays in France. Part of a team of experienced barging aficionados, Paul is first in line to endorse the perks of a slow-paced barge cruise to anyone looking for a unique holiday experience.

Route Optimization – Routing Optimization Can Help Your Service Customers

Route Optimization – Routing Optimization Can Help Your Service Customers

If you love a business that route planning is often important so your service can reach customers on time, then route optimization is something you should consider first. Using a routing optimization software can make everything look very easy for you. It also helps you generate the best customer satisfaction that has become very important just for any business lately. Whether you are a general contractor, engineer, installer, technician or shipping professional, you really know how important it is to serve clients in time.
If you spend your free time for the first time, then there is always an opportunity for customers to switch to the next service provider. As a business owner, you definitely do not want to experience this kind of thing. When delivering services and products can keep customers happy and they will continue to trade with you in the long run. If there is a need to keep the customer intact, routing optimization can help you in many ways. So, before you choose route optimization, you first need to understand some of the underlying things related to it. Route Optimization – Routing Optimization Can Help Your Service Customers

Route optimization is something that can help a person determine the most appropriate and cost-effective route option. When you use routing optimization software, it becomes easier for you to find the shortest route between the two points. There are several relevant factors that need to be included for it such as the location and number of all stops that may fall through that route. There are several other things that can also affect the results of route optimization.

• The number of intersections and turns along the route • Traffic and stop signals • The nearest or best driver to make a delivery service on that route • Traffic jams that may occur during a certain time • The best access to stop on that route

This time you will experience applications that work in a better way to plan your route so customers can be served on time. Actually you can say that route optimization can help you to serve your customers quickly than ever before. If you have the best, most appropriate and shortest route at your fingertips, you can easily feel the difference within a few days. No matter what kind of business you do, if there is a need to serve customers on time, then Routing optimization can help you in many ways. This app is designed to do business on the go! Whether you’re online or offline, this route optimization app works the best way. When you’re offline, and making changes, it saves data that’s automatically changed on the device and once you’re online, the stored data is synchronized to the dedicated server. This makes it easy for you to know the changes you’ve made before. For this reason, the route optimization app can be useful to you at any time. Route Optimization – Routing Optimization Can Help Your Service Customers

Pucon Chile Luxury Solar Eclipse Tour 2020

Pucon Chile Luxury Solar Eclipse Tour 2020

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The solar eclipse on December 14, 2020 will be hosted by The Vira Relais & Châteaux Hacienda.

Great astronomers and amazing world wonders? If so, then do not miss this opportunity to observe Chilean Solar Eclipse on December 14, 2020. From Pucon at the most luxurious Vira Vira Hacienda-Relais & Châteaux. Enjoy your stay in an over-the-top room with superb rain showers, indoor and outdoor tubes, carved fireplace, seating area and luxurious minibar. Enjoy a two-day tour with your private riverfront view and local chefs preparing delicious local food from Vira Vira Ranch and Gardens. Another interesting point, along with all the indulgences, the tour also includes weather adherence. Tours are planned to fit your needs including everything you want to see. From volcano hikes to fishing and rafting, there’s everything you want to see. Pucon Chile Luxury Solar Eclipse Tour 2020

Continue the 2020 eclipse tour. The expedition will begin in Santiago and end in about two days where you will explore the whole of Santiago. For a solar eclipse will pass above noon on December 14th. 2020 in Pucon, Chile Hacienda Hotel Vira Vira is located in a beautiful and picturesque location close to Pucon, Chile. It has an original park along the rim of the steep Liucura River. To experience an oasis of peace and recreation, do not forget miss the opportunity. Introducing the new concept of vacation to the life of “The Elegance of Adventure”. The name clearly indicates that the tour includes exclusive activities and a shared visit with an all-inclusive “stay” at the hotel.

“The smell of wood and pine will awaken your senses for days,” said Daniel Oppliger after staying at Vira Vira for two nights. “It feels like Sandals with steroids.” Pucon Chile Luxury Solar Eclipse Tour 2020

The tour is a great two-day experience where you will not only live through luxury but will also pay attention to God’s nature. The location is perfect for the eclipse, slightly elevated from the lake and surrounded by volcanoes and national parks. The entire space around The Vira Relais & Châteaux Hacienda is open which is perfect for photography. Enjoy the beautiful scenery along with the solar eclipse. Tropical Sails Corp has a four-night solar eclipse package from 12-16 December 2020. Exclusive experience includes a solar eclipse observer package for guests. Pondok has 12 River View Suites, 3 hotel rooms and 4 single occupancy rooms that fully include transfers, meals, drinks and local excursions.

If you’re excited about the adventure and luxury, both at the same time, then book your room now and experience the luxurious 2020 solar eclipse tour at the most beautiful Vira Relais & Châteaux Hacienda. Pucon Chile Luxury Solar Eclipse Tour 2020

How to Choose a Life Insurance Policy

How to Choose a Life Insurance Policy

There are many things to consider when choosing a life insurance policy in Greenville, SC, and every insurance company offers their own pros and cons. The fact that there are various kinds of policies in the insurance industry for good life insurance because not one insurance policy is good for everyone. It’s important to find policies that match your family’s and family’s expectations, needs, and budgets. Here are 5 important factors to consider when looking for a life insurance policy.
Amount of Insurance

How to Choose a Life Insurance Policy

You will have various options regarding how much coverage you will buy in a life insurance policy. Consider the debt on your behalf, the value of your assets, and how much money you have saved. The bottom line considering these things is to determine how much financial burden you will spend on your family after you die. Then, buy enough life insurance so your family will not feel the financial burden of your death.

Policy Type

There are two different categories of life insurance policies. You can purchase a policy of futures or a permanent policy. Term policy is enacted if the insured dies within the policy period purchased. If the individual does not pass, the policy may be renewed after the expiration date. This policy may be difficult to obtain for those over 65 because they are at high risk of death. Future policies can often be converted into permanent policies.

Policy persists to death. The premium for a permanent life insurance policy is slightly higher than a term policy. In this category of life insurance policies there are other subcategories, such as universal life insurance, variable, single premium, and survivor. Your insurance agent can communicate with you in this subcategory in depth and help you determine the right type for you, if any.

Cash Value Projection How to Choose a Life Insurance Policy

Term life insurance policies have no cash value that can be offered by a permanent policy. With a permanent life insurance policy, a small portion of your premium payment is sent to a cash account that grows throughout the year. For some, this can be a very desirable part of life insurance.

Affordability How to Choose a Life Insurance Policy

When considering a life insurance policy, make sure you buy a policy that will run well for your monthly budget. Do not make the mistake of buying life insurance with hard-earned payments every month and diluting your bank account. This will only negate the entire life insurance objective, ie to ensure that there is money in the bank for your dependents after you leave and can not meet their needs. When buying life insurance, there should be a balance between how much you pay and how much your family will get.

Insurance company

Again, every insurance company has their own unique policies to bring to the table. They each have different prices, packages, and incentives. Carefully research the insurance company you are considering. Ask trusted friends and family about what insurance companies they are and their policies they choose to help you find a direction.

One of the best ways a person can research a company is to consult the company itself. Take advantage of free consultation and talk directly with insurance agents. Ask all questions and record to compare. Life insurance in Greenville, SC, and elsewhere in the country, should be carefully selected and carefully selected. With the right policy, you can have peace of mind that your family will be well taken care of, if something happens to you, and it’s priceless.

General Pension Planning Sense Financial planning for retirement is the main focus of our company. Let us help you find the many opportunities available to help you plan your financial future. How to Choose a Life Insurance Policy

The MAny Moods Of Color

The MAny Moods Of Color

Color is the most important design element you can use when creating the perfect space. It brings out feelings and emotions in everything. Color can make us feel energetic, calm, romantic, sensual, or even restless. This can increase our appetite or, in some cases, lose everything together. Color defines us. The colors we wear and surround ourselves with, say a lot about who we are.
Let’s look at some color moods, and see how you can use them to express your personality in your home, or in your life. We’ll start with a more energetic or active mood like strange, dynamic, and sensual. Then, there is a calmer and quieter mood like traditional, romantic, foster, and contemplative. You may use one or more of these mood color palettes in your home or in your clothing choices and not even be aware of the impressions you make to those around you. For example, a green-colored living room, green and red hunters will let people know that you are more traditional. While bright yellow, navy blue and lemon yellow mean you are more strange.

The MAny Moods Of Color

Have you ever noticed how color can restore memories? If you enter a room full of navy blue, aquamarines, and Sahara Sand, you can easily remember a family vacation on the beach. You can almost hear the sound of sea water tapping its banks, smell the salt water and cotton candy, and see the children running along the edge of the water falling by the swift waves. That’s the magic of color in our world.

Take for example the red color. Everyone feels a little cheerful when they see red. It is commonly associated with fire and flame. It is provocative and reminds us of danger. It also symbolizes sexual energy, strength, and strength. If you enter a party, you are more likely to notice women who wear red before you pay attention to others. Physiologically, red can cause an increase in blood pressure, pulse rate, and heart rate. It can also increase the sense of smell, causing flavor buds to be more sensitive, and increase appetite. If red is your favorite color, you can bet you are a confident person full of passion and excitement. You are optimistic, impulsive, brave, and likes to be the center of attention. According to Chinese Feng Shui art, red invites prosperity to your home when used at the entrance. So what are you waiting for, paint that door!

Yellow, on the other hand, brings warmth and sunshine to our day. It makes us feel happy and happy. In the days of Greece and Rome stood for glory, wisdom, and divinity. Those interested in yellow are insightful and intuitive. Some words that are often associated with yellow are bright, cheerful, and exciting. The majority of people consider the yellow color to be the happiest color, so it’s a great color to add to your home and clothing choices.

Let’s talk about oranges and how to bring up the vision of setting sunlight and radiant heat. Because it is less intense and passionate than red, orange draws a little sun and joy from the yellow. This creates a color palette that is fun and full of energy. Orange is a known appetite stimulant, so do not put it in your kitchen and hope to lose weight. Children who have a tendency to more color with orange are known to be more open and sympathetic and like to use their imagination. Some people will find orange too offensive and overwhelming, especially those with a more introverted or weak personality. If you love orange, you may be a kind, extroverted, and adventurous person. You can use oranges in your home casually to add surprise and excitement to your decor, or go to wild pigs and really “Wow” your guests with bold colors on the walls or your furniture choices.

Blue is the color of the sky and the ocean, and it brings us comfort and peace. It represents truth and firmness. Blue is the color of passion and evokes a feeling of hope. The blue color is great for creating a quiet and inviting space. In the past, blue rays have been used by mystics and clairvoyants to heal. Blue lovers believe or need to be trusted. Very sensitive to the needs of others, they can form strong bonds with people in their lives. While enjoying the more common gatherings, people who are interested in blue really prefer to hang out with themes The MAny Moods Of Color

Introduce Young Learners to the Opal Coast

Introduce Young Learners to the Opal Coast

For teachers planning school trips to France, a clearer option such as Paris certainly holds much appeal in terms of their historical depth, culture and accessibility. However, this is not the only objective to consider: The beautiful Opal Beach, which covers the region from Picardy to the Belgian border, provides some excellent options for school trips to France with a focus on subjects such as history, language, or science. Introduce Young Learners to the Opal Coast
The Value of Education for Getting to Beaten the Ticket

There is much to say to bring students to destinations that have not been so touched by modern tourism traps. Exploring Opal Beach will allow deeper levels of intimacy with people and cultures, and expose students to languages ​​and cultures at a comfortable pace. The beauty, tradition and authenticity of the Opal Coast make it an absolute gem for groups of all ages.

Come out in Nature

In addition to its historical and cultural cache, Opal Beach is an area of ​​outstanding natural beauty. For young students on a school trip to France, the opportunity to get out into the coastal environment can offer a warm welcome and help build a profound appreciation of the flora, fauna and spectacular scenery that determines this beautiful region.

To find a different side to nature, a visit to the impressive French National Marine Life Center, also known as Nausicaa, provides an introduction to the diverse marine life. Nausicaa is the largest aquarium in Europe and provides an interactive and highly entertaining experience for children. Introduce Young Learners to the Opal Coast

Engage in history

This coastal region has been an important history for centuries – not only to France but also to the rest of the world. From this coast Julius Caesar invaded England in 55 BC, and the area also played an important role in the second battle of the world war. There are many relics that continue to bring past lives for young students, including the 1916 Somme Museum in Albert, Hitler’s podium rocket at La Coupole, and the Mimoyecques Fortress in Calais.

Find the Authenticity

Not just history students who can benefit from traveling to this area on a school trip to France. The small traditional fishing town that forms the shoreline is an ideal situation for young people to discover their first taste of French language, culture and cuisine. In this relaxed and less touristy atmosphere, the experience is often more authentic and generally less intimidating. Students can practice their beginner language skills with local market vendors, and friendly and always positive responses help them grow in confidence to interact more. It is also an opportunity to expand their appetite to include some regional delicacies to the source.

Though less well known than the larger tourist towns, the Opal Coast is no less important for students in terms of native cultural experience. His ability to facilitate curriculum-based curriculum learning opportunities across a range of subjects provides tremendous educational value potential.

John Gardiner is Managing Director of The School Travel Company, a tour operator specializing in travel for school trips to France and educational tours for school and youth groups to the UK, Europe and beyond. As a father and avid traveler, John is keen to provide students with a valuable and exciting learning experience outside the classroom. By sharing expert advice with teachers, he allows them to inspire their students and continue their studies into life. Introduce Young Learners to the Opal Coast

Idea Mosaic Glass Tiles: Gold Edge Mosaic Tiles

Idea Mosaic Glass Tiles: Gold Edge Mosaic Tiles

Using a variety of mosaic tiles available today, it’s sometimes scary when you try to pick the right tiles to produce a perfect search for your bathroom or kitchen. You want something fancy together with a real eye-catching style? You will want a rich selection of beautiful and rich colors to match your decoration choices? You want to choose a unique, unique tile design along with the actual talking point because it is so different? Then take a look at the Glass Mosaic Gold Fleck Glass collection; contemporary classics as well as the epitome of modern luxury.
This beautiful handmade glass mirror is really unique – no two sheets are exactly alike! The color cuts developed with hand-painted brush strokes and effects developed by gold spots never recur. Each individual tile is positioned inside the sheet at random, thus making the combination of colors and patterns absolutely unique.

Idea Mosaic Glass Tiles: Gold Edge Mosaic Tiles

The modern selection of these mosaic glass tiles has beautiful gold flecking that stretches with glass, giving them a bit of elegance. The most famous in this range is definitely a Jewel Gomeda mosaic tile. The dark darkness of the black streaks in Jewel Gomeda is balanced by a brilliant gold flecking and resulting in a luxurious and warm and stylish atmosphere. It will look beautiful in almost any bathroom or modern kitchen.

You can use these gold spotted glass mosaic tiles all over the walls or panels to produce a remarkable effect. In addition, they look great when used in a much more subtle way, by creating border areas or random colors to focus on your color scheme. Or why not be more creative? Try solving the sheets and creating your own custom mosaic design. Create wild shapes and color bands or finish one shadow to a different color. The choice is endless!

Dark Gomeda Jewel mosaic tile design looks stunning when contrasted against the glossy glow of Jewel Opal tile mosaic. My personal favorite is definitely the beautiful purple blue of Jewel Amethyst colors. I can see this on my own bathroom wall!

Whichever way you decide to use these beautiful glass mosaic tiles, you will surely produce a beautiful effect. I am sure they will make all your visitors look to the glossy depths of the tiles and the longing to comb their fingers against them! Idea Mosaic Glass Tiles: Gold Edge Mosaic Tiles

This collection comes in a variety of colors and styles. From the beautiful beige and gold blue, to the shades of bright red, orange, green and blue; Then to the drama of the black, brown, purple tip of the color spectrum. You can browse this image gallery for color samples and get inspiration for your upcoming home design project.

5 Unique Things to Do on Your Journey to London

5 Unique Things to Do on Your Journey to London

In a city that is traded with great tourists like London, sometimes the best experience the region has to offer does not work.

Take your journey to the next level with this insider tip about the best unique things to do in London and then share your experience with the world!

Check out these 5 cool stops on your next trip to London:

Visit God’s Junkyard
This little treasure boasts the largest collection of vintage and neon signs throughout Europe.

God’s Own Junkyard is the brainchild of artist Chris Bracey. Bracy is famous as “Neon Man” and has been collecting followers like a cult for the last 37 years.

The art featured on Junkyard features new and used neon signs ranging from old film props, retro displays, circus lights and improved vintage neon.

Hike Big Ben 5 Unique Things to Do on Your Journey to London
With 334 steps to get to the top, the opposite of fitness in the body of every person will be very happy to follow this nontraditional exercise with a view.

Once at the top of Elizabeth Tower, where the clock bell, you will have spectacular views of the Westminster Bridge and surrounding areas.

It’s a cheap and fun way to get a beautiful view that most unconscious people are available!

Enjoy the Night Life at Scandal London
Scandal Club London is a cool and sexy way to experience the night life London has to offer.

The club combines the spaciousness of Mayfair London with a light thrill from the Red Light District in Amsterdam.

Features such as entrances with frayed curtains, large VIP areas, and a concave dance floor complete with cabar style dancers bring together a cohesive decadent atmosphere.

Detour to House of Dreams 5 Unique Things to Do on Your Journey to London
Another unconventional art display, the House of Dreams is the home of artist Stephen Wright featuring an extensive home mosaic of recycled goods and rejuvenated items.

Wright is an artist and textile designer with more than 3 decades of experience at the scene and has created his small House of Dreams since the 90s.

The entire first floor of the house, as well as the garden and its exterior, slowly transformed into a gigantic statue with every inch of wall, floor, and ceiling that is covered in art.

The house is only open to the public a few days a year, so plan your trip accordingly. This is not the place you want to miss.

Magic Experience on Platform 9 3/4
The Harry Potter series, which has tens of millions of fans from around the world, is partly played in London. That means if you happen to be one of the millions of fans, here’s your chance to live a little fantasy.

Let your nerd side play by visiting the famous 3/4 Platform 9/4 at King’s Cross station and experience the little wonder that Harry and his friends are doing.

There are many unique things to do in London!
Use insider knowledge about unique things to do in London to make your next trip to the books.

Which stops at the top of your list?

It’s A Women’s World: The ‘Ladies’ Château’ of the Loire Valley

It’s A Women’s World: The ‘Ladies’ Château’ of the Loire Valley

A French barge cruise on one of European Waterways luxurious, fully-crewed barge hotels is an experience to remember. We firmly believe that there is no better way to explore the Continent than from the water.
The Nymphea hosts our French barge cruise in the Loire Valley, passing under the remarkable five-arch bridge of the Château de Chenonceau. Built in a pale grey stone, the bridge’s symmetrical curves are juxtaposed against the castle’s pointed turrets and enchant our guests time and time again

 

It’s not only architecture and engineering buffs who fall in love on the banks of the River Cher. The unique history of the Château – spanning from the early sixteenth century to the modern day – is well worth discovering.

Hidden Histories

Cruising beneath the repeated arches of the gallery aboard our French barge cruise, our guests often wonder who created them.

Today we are looking at some of the famous inhabitants of the ‘Ladies’ Château’ – the women who shaped both this beautiful building and France.

The Mistress: Diane de Poitiers

Intellectual, royal-favourite Diane de Poitiers lived in sixteenth-century France; no decorative wallflower, Diane was intelligent and politically savvy. She became so well-liked by King Henry II that she often wrote and signed official correspondence on his behalf using the portmanteau ‘HenriDiane’.

Diane was also the King’s mistress for over two decades – perhaps the most powerful woman in the country. As Henry’s mistress she was given the Château de Chenonceau. Diane not only lovingly developed the gardens, she commissioned the stunning arched bridge spanning the river – one of the most iconic architectural features of the Loire Valley.

The Wife: Catherine de’Medici

Catherine de’Medici was the wife of Henry II and, understandably, was jealous Diane’s influential position in Henry’s court. After Henry’s death Catherine forced Diane de Poitiers, the legal owner of the property, to leave and triumphantly took possession herself. Determined to make the Château her own, Catherine installed a grand gallery running across Diane’s bridge – the strong-willed widow had successfully displaced the trusted mistress.

Under Catherine’s management, the castle became the site for many extravagant parties and, rumour has it, the first ever firework display in France lit up the sky over one of her night time revels.

The Saloniste: Louise Dupin

During the French Enlightenment, eighteenth-century French women were at the centre of literary, artistic and cultural advancements. Louise Dupin, who lived in the Château de Chenonceau with her husband, formed a literary salon there which drew in leaders of the Enlightenment movement such as Voltaire, Condillac, Buffon and Bernard le Bovier de Fontenelle.

An intelligent woman herself, Louise saved the building during the widespread destruction of property prompted by the Revolution. Louise pointed out that the arched bridge provided a rare crossing place on the river essential for the movement of people and trade. As a result of her quick thinking and bravery we can enjoy the splendour of the Château de Chenonceau in the twenty-first century.