Chateau Maintenon

Posted on Feb 22, 2016 in Paris Stories | 0 comments

In August last year, I took a train out to Maintenon to visit Chateau de Maintenon.  What took me so long?  It was very easy to get there from gare Montparnasse.  It takes just under an hour and trains leave almost every hour.  There is a fairly good walk (20 minutes or so) into town and to the property but it’s flat and very easy to find.

I was blown away by the wonderful history of this place and astounded that it has survived.  And it survived thanks to the locals and an heir to the chateau who put everything she and her husband had into restoring it (often with their own money and they were not rich people).  I won’t go into all that but you can read it here.  The husband is apparently still alive (in his 90s) and stops by to visit once in a while.

I can imagine that Madame de Maintenon, who bought the chateau with her own money she earned taking care of Louis XIV children (the illegitimate ones), might not have appreciated that he came out there meddling with her house (they eventually were secretly married, another great story).  He added quite a lot onto it and also started a Viaduct that was never completed but the remains of it can still be seen.

They have an excellent audio guide in the gift shop or you can download a free app for your phone.

Chateau de Maintenon

Chateau de Maintenon

Canal next to Chateau

Canal next to Chateau

I couldn't resist this. It was made and donated by someone from North Carolina!

I couldn’t resist this. It was made and donated by someone from North Carolina!

The gardens looking towards the Viaduct

The gardens looking towards the Viaduct

Madame's bedroom

Madame’s bedroom

IMG_5240

Chateau from the back side

Chateau from the back side

The unfinished Viaduct

The unfinished Viaduct

 

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