Not just a ballroom - Chenonceau Chateau
By Judy Evans
August 11, 2017 1:50am CST
My last post was about Chenonceau Chateau in the Loire Valley in France. The chateau spans the river Cher and the bridge has had a gallery built over it. The gallery is 60 metres long and six metres wide. Eighteen windows let in ample light. The slate tile floor and exposed beams in the ceilings created a magnificent ballroom. However, it has also served in other capacities in its lifetime. During World War I, the chateau was owned by Mr Gaston Menier who set up a 120-bed hospital. All rooms were utilised for medical procedures. A total of 2,254 soldiers were treated with the last of the wounded leaving on December 31, 1918. During World War II, The river Cher was part of the line of demarcation between German-occupied France and Free France. The south door of the gallery gave access to the left bank (free zone) and numbers of Jews and others were smuggled through to safety. The bank was regularly patrolled but once the all clear was given the door would be opened and people could make their way to freedom. A German artillery unit was kept at the ready throughout the war, ready to destroy Chenoneau. It would have been tragic if this beautiful building had been destroyed.
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• Oxford, England
It is good some of these buildings are still standing even though I think they did to be destroyed during the war by the way they were used. I often wonder what it would have been like to live in a huge place in the times when Ballrooms and the like were actually used. Some days I could do with a lady's maid.