“Le Château des Dames”, built on a bridge across the River Cher. King Henry II gave it to his favourite mistress Diane de Poitiers. When Henry died suddenly in a tournament, his widow the Queen Catherine de Medici threw out Diane and installed herself there, and forced Diane to give up Chenonceau for Chaumont sur Loire.
Azay-le-Rideau – on an island in the Indre River – a small and charmingly romantic castle with Italian style architecture. One of the purest architectural creations of the Renaissance, and a defensive fortress in times past despite its beauty.
Chaumont – a massive fortress overlooking the River Loire. Château de Chaumont was purchased by Catherine de Medici a year after Henry II’s death. There she entertained numerous astrologers, among them Nostradamus.
Chambord – a real “mathematisation” of architecture, a grandiose creation, which took over 30 years to build during the 16th century, with 800 rooftop sculpted columns, over 440 rooms, and 85 staircases, the largest and most extravagant château in the Loire Valley.