Royal Châteaux of the Loire Valley with Sandra Laville - Context Travel

Royal Châteaux of the Loire Valley with Sandra Laville


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Discover three of the most stunning residences of the Loire Valley region – The Châteaux of Amboise, Chambord, and Chenonceau – and hear all about the lives of the Kings and Queens that lived there. If only the walls could speak…

From the 1400s onwards, the Kings of France took up home in the Loire Valley region, just south of Paris, and engaged in a building frenzy, studding the valley with some of the country’s most spectacular royal palaces. For more than 3 centuries, these residences were the stage for the various intrigues, political disasters, and personal scandals at the French court. During the first part of the seminar, we will discuss the Château of Amboise, from the early years of King Francis’ reign to his death in 1519. We will hear about Queen Catherine de’ Medici, wife of King Henri 2nd, and her five royal children that all grew up at Amboise, including future King Francis 2nd and his young fiancée, Mary Queen of Scots.

Next, we will explore the Château of Chambord, the iconic symbol of the French Renaissance constructed from scratch by King Francis 1st. We’ll discuss the many famous guests that stayed at the palace over the centuries, from Holy Roman Emperor Charles 5th to King Stanislas Leszczynski of Poland, and admire the palace’s stunning Renaissance architecture.

Lastly, we will take a look at the Château of Chenonceau, one of the most startlingly beautiful castles in the region. Also known as the “château des dames” (the ladies’ castle), it was owned and embellished by many illustrious women over the years, including King Henri 2nd’s mistress Diane de Poitiers, and his wife, Queen Catherine de’ Medici.

Led by an expert on Modern European History (1492 – 1797), Sandra Laville, this interactive seminar will discuss three of the most spectacular royal palaces in France: Amboise, Chambord, and Chenonceau. Designed to inform curiosity as well as future travels, participants will come away with an increased understanding of the Loire Valley châteaux and the Kings and Queens that inhabited them.

Sandra is an art historian specializing in the link between European art, history and society from the 15th to the 19th centuries. She holds a Master's degree in Art History from the Université La Sorbonne, where she specialized in Italian Renaissance painting and the iconography of the modern European family. Originally from Canada, she also holds an undergraduate degree in Linguistics, with a double specialization in French and Spanish Language Civilization, and has lived in Madrid, Barcelona, Seville, and Rome, before finally settling in Paris.

This conversation is not suitable for children under age 16.

90 minutes, including a 30 minute Q&A.

Customer Reviews

Based on 20 reviews
80%
(16)
15%
(3)
5%
(1)
0%
(0)
0%
(0)
B
B.A.f.M.
Great historical perspective on these three iconic chateaus

Then presenter, Sandra Laville, was very knowledgeable and very well qualified to give this presentation. Her slides were very well organized and the images were rich and provided excellent support for the discussion. The chateaus are beautiful. This was the best Context lecture I have attended so far.

K
K.
Outstanding!

Sandra was extremely knowledgeable about art, architecture and history and an excellent presenter! We'd highly recommend her. Definitely one of the best!

B
B.
Excellent learning experience!

Sandra is extremely knowledgeable and passionate! Her enthusiasm was contagious. I learned so much more about the history and the people of the chateaux than I expected. Sandra really made them come to life!

J
J.H.
Excellent Guide and Presentation

This presentation surpassed our expectations and hopes. My husband and I both signed up for this presentation on the Royal Châteaux of the Loire Valley since it is an area we have always been interested in visiting. Sandra Laville gave an incredible lecture, guiding us through the various châteaux - their history, architecture, owners, etc. and shared an amazing amount of depth and breadth to the châteaux. We enjoyed her style and delivery of the information - it was never dry or boring. We also loved how she sprinkled in great fun facts and stories and at the end of the presentation, since there was a bit of extra time after the questions, she filled it in with even more information on areas and people nearby/not covered by the class. Her insight and expert advice was so helpful and we immediately went online after to search for more classes that she will be teaching. We highly recommend this seminar and Sandra Laville as an instructor. We also loved the follow-up email with additional resources. Having done Context tours all over the world in real life, these high quality seminars have been wonderful during the pandemic. The quality is the same excellent Context quality!

K
K.R.
Royal Chateaux

She is an excellent lecturer. Good visual support. Easy to understand and lots of information.

Customer Reviews

Based on 20 reviews
80%
(16)
15%
(3)
5%
(1)
0%
(0)
0%
(0)
B
B.A.f.M.
Great historical perspective on these three iconic chateaus

Then presenter, Sandra Laville, was very knowledgeable and very well qualified to give this presentation. Her slides were very well organized and the images were rich and provided excellent support for the discussion. The chateaus are beautiful. This was the best Context lecture I have attended so far.

K
K.
Outstanding!

Sandra was extremely knowledgeable about art, architecture and history and an excellent presenter! We'd highly recommend her. Definitely one of the best!

B
B.
Excellent learning experience!

Sandra is extremely knowledgeable and passionate! Her enthusiasm was contagious. I learned so much more about the history and the people of the chateaux than I expected. Sandra really made them come to life!

J
J.H.
Excellent Guide and Presentation

This presentation surpassed our expectations and hopes. My husband and I both signed up for this presentation on the Royal Châteaux of the Loire Valley since it is an area we have always been interested in visiting. Sandra Laville gave an incredible lecture, guiding us through the various châteaux - their history, architecture, owners, etc. and shared an amazing amount of depth and breadth to the châteaux. We enjoyed her style and delivery of the information - it was never dry or boring. We also loved how she sprinkled in great fun facts and stories and at the end of the presentation, since there was a bit of extra time after the questions, she filled it in with even more information on areas and people nearby/not covered by the class. Her insight and expert advice was so helpful and we immediately went online after to search for more classes that she will be teaching. We highly recommend this seminar and Sandra Laville as an instructor. We also loved the follow-up email with additional resources. Having done Context tours all over the world in real life, these high quality seminars have been wonderful during the pandemic. The quality is the same excellent Context quality!

K
K.R.
Royal Chateaux

She is an excellent lecturer. Good visual support. Easy to understand and lots of information.