June 27, 2010

Azay-Le-Rideau - June 27

Azay-Le-Rideau Castle

In the XII century, the owner was Rideau or Ridel d'Azay, whose fierceness earned him the nickname "Child of the Devil". Henry II Plantagenet expropriated all his lands, but they were later restored, together with the castle.

Coat of Arms

The "voile" over the beds were to keep bugs out, heat in, and provide privacy.

An absolutely stunning desk.

More magnificent furniture pieces.

The Library.

"Caquetière". A bench with an adjustable back used by women who wish to sit together and chat while facing the fireplace or facing the opposite direction, without moving the bench.

Expecting company.

We've seen this style of glassware in other châteaux as well, with the Fleur de Lys motif.

Dishes specific to this château.

Furniture of the era.

Billiards anyone?

A fancy scoreboard for billiards.

Karl in the games room, ready to deal the cards.

Family photos.


Recognize this château? It is the Château d'Ussé. The particularly elegant, fairy-tale-like appearance of this castle at the edge of a dark, mysterious forest seems to have influenced Charles Perrault's conception of the castle in his "Sleeping Beauty".

We were going to visit it, but since this was our second castle to visit that day, it was 33 degrees, the hill to get to the front door looked particularly steep and we were told that there were 80 steps to climb within the castle, well, I decided it was just too much. We'll have to visit it some other time, during another trip. Instead, we took a long meandering drive through the enchanted forest.

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