1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Chenonceaux
CHENONCEAUX, a village of central France, in the department of Indre-et-Loire, on the right bank of the Cher, 20 m. E. by S. of Tours on the Orléans railway. Pop. (1906) 216. Chenonceaux owes its interest to its château (see Architecture: Renaissance Architecture in France), a building in the Renaissance style on the river Cher, to the left bank of which it is united by a two-storeyed gallery built upon five arches, and to the right by a drawbridge flanked by an isolated tower, part of an earlier building of the 15th century. Founded in 1515 by Thomas Bohier (d. 1523), financial minister in Normandy, the château was confiscated by Francis I. in 1535. Henry II. presented it to his mistress Diane de Poitiers, who on his death was forced to exchange it for Chaumont-sur-Loire by Catherine de’ Medici. The latter built the gallery which leads to the left bank of the Cher. Chenonceaux passed successively into the hands of Louise de Vaudémont, wife of Henry III., the house of Vendôme, and the family of Bourbon-Condé. In the 18th century it came into the possession of the farmer-general Claude Dupin (1684–1769), who entertained the most distinguished people in France within its walls. In 1864 it was sold to the chemist Théophile Pélouze, whose wife executed extensive restorations. It subsequently became the property of the Crédit Foncier, and again passed into private occupancy.