Chateau de Chenonceaux
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Architect unknown
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Location Chenonceaux, France   map
Date 1515 to 1576 +   timeline
Building Type chateau - very large house
 Construction System bearing masonry
Climate temperate
Context rural, on river
Style French Renaissance
Notes Arched bridge by Philibert de l'Orme, gallery over by Jean Bullant.


Photo, exterior overview.

Photo, exterior overview, with reflection.

Photo, exterior overview, with reflection.


Plan Drawing

Site Plan Drawing

Engraving, facade

Contributions appreciated

Discussion Chateau de Chenonceaux Commentary

"The Chateau of Chenonceaux was begun in 1515 for Thomas Bohier, who built the right-hand block. The architect's name is not known, but he was certainly French, although the decorative detail is Italian."

— John Julius Norwich, ed. Great Architecture of the World. p158.

"The first part of the Chateau de Chenonceaux was the simple rectangular four-towered block with steeply pitched roof standing on piles in the River Cher. An Italianate straight staircase with landings opens off the long central corridor that bisects the building. The five-arched bridge was added by Philibert de l'Orme (q.v.) for Diane de Poitiers (1556-9); the gallery above, with its 'mannerist' windows, is due to Jean Bullant (q.v.) (1576).

— Sir Banister Fletcher. A History of Architecture. p924.

Sources on Chateau de Chenonceaux

Jean Pierre Babelon. Le Chateau en France / sous la direction de Jean-Pierre Babelon. Paris : Berger-Levrault, Caisse Nationale des Monuments Historiques et des Sites, 1988. exterior photo from water, p218. exterior photo from water, p182.

Sir Banister Fletcher. A History of Architecture. Boston: Butterworths, 1987. ISBN 0-408-01587-X. NA200.F63 1987. discussion, p924.   The classic text of architectural history. Expanded 1996 edition available at

Peter Murray. Architecture of the Renaissance. New York: Harry N. Abrams, 1971. ISBN 8109-1000-4. LC 70-149850. NA510.M87. site plan drawing, fig477, p321.

John Julius Norwich, ed. Great Architecture of The World. New York: Random House, 1975. ISBN 0-394-49887-9. NA200.G76. discussion, p158. exterior photo, p158. Reprint edition: Da Capo Press, April 1991. ISBN 0-3068-0436-0. — An accessible, inspiring and informative overview of world architecture, with lots of full-color cutaway drawings, and clear explanations. Available at

Kevin Matthews. The Great Buildings Collection on CD-ROM. Artifice, 2001. ISBN 0-9667098-4-5.— Available at  Find books about Chateau de Chenonceaux


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