Villandry's famous gardens, reproduced exactly from the 16th century!
Azay-le-Rideau, named after the village, built by the wife of one of the Gilles Berthelot, Tresurer-General of the king, because he was caught for embezzlement in 1528 and left his wife in charge of construction.
Chenonceau, one of the most famous of the Loire Valley chateaux, as Rick Steves says, it is "the toast of the Loire Valley," also designed by women. King Henri II gave it to his favorite mistress, Diane de Poitiers in the mid-16th century. At the time, it was just the square part on the far right side. She got tired of using a boat to cross the river, and had the arching bridge built. Upon the king's death, the queen, Catherine de Medici, made the mistress leave this castle, and she had the second story built over the bridge, thus englarging the castle to have more room for her lavish parties.