Welcome to the Chateau d'Anet.

I'm Patrick, your guide, and I'm going to help discover the gift that King Henry II gave to his muse, his beloved, his mistress Diane de Poitiers.

Before getting to know Diane and her castle in her day, I'm going to talk about the castle as it is today.

In Diane's time, the castle consisted of three buildings.
The left wing you can see here, and the right wing which hides the chapel.
And a central building facing portal, where the apartments of Diane de Poitiers were.

During the Revolution, the castle was seized by the French state, emptied of its assets, which were auctioned and the walls were sold for stones.

A worker, resident of Anet, who was working on the left wing fell off the roof and was killed.

The Anet angry villagers armed with pitchforks, drove the wreckers away.

For 40 years, the castle remained abandoned, and was destroyed.
Bought by several people, including the Count of Caraman who, in 1840, had the chapel restored by Caristie and had the built terrace by copying the style of the portal,. It then came into the hands of Mr Ferdinand Moreau in 1860.

Member of Parliament for the Seine (French departément) , he had turrets built to give symmetry to the castle, bought the land that had been broken up and began to refurnish the castle.

Diane's was found in a hostel Anet, the sarcophagus of the tomb was used as a pig trough on a farm a few miles away in Bu. The altar of the chapel was used as step in a home in Anet.

The rest of the furniture was redeemed (repurchased)..

The castle was built over a period of 4 years and 4 months between 1548 and 1552.
The architect of this castle iwas Philibert de L'orme.

The nymph adorning the portal is the
work of Benvenuto Cellini.
Deer and dogs at the time of Diana were automatons that sounded the hour, half hour and quarter hour. Dogs moved their jaw and the deer moved ihoof.


We are now going to visit the castle.


Diane de Poitiers.

 

The entrance.

You can admire the plates from the East India Company to the arms of the Duke of Penthièvre.
Below is an 18
th century automaton.

On climbing the stairs, you will find engravings..

At the top of the stairs, you will are going to enter Diane de Poitiers' the reconstructed bedroom.

 

Diane's bedroom.




Here you can see the bed of Diane de Poitiers.
The materials of the time were restored i40 years ago.

I will now speak about the symbols that adorn the castle.

The crescents of the moon are linked to Diane, huntress, goddess of the hunt and the moon.
She is shown in the tables of the school of Fontainebleau and you can see in this one, on her head is a crescent of the moon.

Diane de Poitiers and Henri II also have on their shields, 3 moon crescents.

Now, let's look at Diane's monogram.

Both D interwoven with a bar in the middle that forms a H are the initials of Diane and the king.

At the time of Diana, there were stained glass windows.
The one in the turret was designed by Jean Cousin.

On the left, you will see a jewelry box that belonged to Diane de Poitiers.
It is made of ebony inlaid with ivory.

Under the window, a cradle from the French Renaissance.
This wall tapestry shows Joseph explaining his dreams to Pharaoh, and signed by the , Duchess of Valentinois. Diane worked on the tapestry with her ladies over a period of about 15 years.

Diane de Poitiers was born in Saint-Vallier in the Drome 31 December 1499. She was the daughter of Jean de Saint-Vallier tale Poitiers. He named her Diane, because he was a hunter, in honour of the huntress, Diana. At 6 years, Diane accompanied his father to the hunt. She had her falcon and rode. In 1515, she married Louis de Breze, Royal Grand Huntsman of France. She was 15 years old, he was 56. They had two daughters and Diane became a widow at the age of 31 years. For 35 years she managed alone a vast fortune and provied to be an excellent manager. She died at the age of 66 years Anet in 1566.

Now we will visit the guardroom.


The guardroom.



This room, at the time of Diane, was the guardroom.
The ceiling was painted uniformly.
Mr Moreau had each box painted with the name, emblem, and the period of occupation of successive owners of the Castle.

It can be read like a book, line by line from right to left in chronological order.
The oldest (born in 1165 year) and later, Mr Moreau.
We will talk about the current owners of the castle.
Mr Moreau's daughter married the Count of Leuse.
One of his descendants married Mr Charles Yturbe,
And this is one of their children Mr John Yturbe who currently owns the castle.
5 generations of the same family since 1860.
The castle is a private and inhabited by the family.

In the box on the right, we read the names of Louis de Breze and that of Jacques de Breze. Jacques is the father of Louis, husband of Diane. He had the mansion built that's to the left of the chapel and was destroyed during the Revolution.

Henri II was dazzled by the culture and the great intelligence of Diana. A12-year-old he made his first tournament and it is at this age that he decided to wear the colours of Diane, black and white colours of her widowhood.

I will now tell you about the beauty of Diana. According to Brantome, gossip columnist at the time, she was still beautiful at the age of 66 years and could for being!. A heartbroken young page in Diane's service would die on hearing of Diane's death. Closer to home, during the Revolution, Diane's tomb was desecrated. She was in a leaden coffin, was embalmed and eyewitnesses said she was in a perfect state of preservation and as had the legendary beauty that she had during her life.
Locks of hair were cut by eyewitnesses and we have a small amount you see in the Red Room.

His remains were buried at the foot of the church of Anet.

In 2008, while working, his remains were exhumed, identified through DNA testing and May 29, 2010, Diane returned to tthe tomb she should never have left.

I'm going to talk about the objects that fill this beautiful room.

The big painting is that of Marie de Medici, niece of Catherine de Medici and second wife of King Henry II.

Here is a great lady of the Italian nobility painted by Anton Van Dyck, Flemish painter of 16 centuries.

By Charles 9, second reigning son of Henry and Catherine. King during the massacre of St. Bartholomew, who died at age 23 of tuberculosis.

Here's the Duke of Penthièvre with his family, drinking a cup of chocolate.


On the mantelpiece, King Henry II.
In the inset, the castle as it was at the time of Diana.

The firewall at the time, Louis 14 (the Fourteenth) on each side, andirons and Hercules from the French Renaissance.

Two paintings of King Henry II and the beautiful Diane de Poitiers painted by Francesco Salviati.

Here and there in wood and here in this showcase ivory tobacco graters.

As Marie de Medici, a cartel Louis 14 on each side of the Nevers pot Nevers created by Urbino..

Under the cup of chocolate, a travel jewelry box that belonged to Diana.

Here a German 18
th century ivory mug.

We are now going to see the vestibule.


The vestibule.



The guard room was transformed into a ballroom by Louis Joseph de Vendôme in about 1680. This hallway was created by Desgeot, a nephew of Lenotre. It was made by a builder from Anets This bearing stone stands un supported thanks to the size of the stones. Through the window you can see the canal. It was designed according to plan by Lenotre, royal gardener.


On the left, in brick, you can see the tomb of Diane where she lies since 2010. To visit, you must go out into the street and turn right and follow the moat 50 meters. It is a free visit.

Be careful going downstairs. It is slippery and very hard.

Here's a sedan chair that belonged to the Duke of Penthièvre.
The Duke of Penthièvre painted in the Natier workshop.
Below a bronze by Barry representing a centaur.

On each side of the door flares and lantern from the time of Louis the Fourteenth.
This game fowl table and furniture in the sacristy were found in the Cordelier convent iat the bottom of the the park. A firebomb destroyed it between 1940 and 1945.
These are the only furniture that could be saved from the flames.

Now let's visit the Red Room.


The Red Room.



This room, at the time of Vendôme was a bedroom.
The ceiling, painted by Audran, is adorned with a symbol of the night.
Rosette batwings around the Murano chandelier , and 4 entries related to night, Morpheus, nox, night, dawn, dawn nd Diane, goddess of the moon and therefore of the night as well.

To my right, the Nativity by Andea Della Robia.
This painting, painting on wood by Clouet, shows King Henry II and Queen Catherine de Medici.
Andirons, Hercules and Venus, from the French renaissance.
The table and chairs and small armchairs are from the Italian Renaissance. The rest of the furniture is from the French renaissance.
Here, this beautiful piece of furniture is attributed to Jean Goujon. It is wood inlaid marble, gilded with fine gold sculptures.

In this showcase, personal belongings of Diane de Poitiers.
Her parasol, his lock of hair, daggers, watches, poetry books , and her comb.

To the left of the door, the letter of appointment of a “prefect” written by both Diane and Henry . Her political influence was very great. Historians speak of her as more important than the queen.

To the right of the door, a love letter written by King Henry II to Diane. I'll read the end of it.

“Goodnight my dear love, if I sleep, my dreams will be of you, if I im my thoughts will be the same.
Millions of kisses from me.”



We will visit the dining room.

Before ithis you are going to see very rare porcelain .
3 plates by Bernard Palissy Master of French ceramics.
These are the three oval dishes decorated with embossed fish.
Above two sconces by Saint Porchères.
In the three windows, old Rouen from 16 ° to 18 ° centuries.

Above, cherubs by Andrea Della Robia.
On the ground, floor tiles that adornied the castle at the time of Diana,
created by Masseo Abaquesne a ceramist from Rouen.


The dining room.



On the is fireplace a verse of Virgil in Latin, with tables laden with unpurchased food.
Diane's coat of arms. The crosses are for Louis de Breze, three crescents for Diane and the points for the Medici family. Diane and Catherine were small, and were cousins.The great-grandmother of Diana and the great-grandfather of Catherine were sister and brother. They were all closely related.


The alabaster medaillon of Diane the huntress attributed to Jean Gougeon,
Atlantean chimney supports are by Puget. They are 17th century.
The chandelier is a copy from the 16
th century.On the table is a beautiful table centerpiece. It is trom the Renaissance and it is Dutch.

On the ceiling, restored in 1860, are symbols related to Diane and the castle.
bow and arrows, crescent moons, delta, letter D, Greek, Diane's initial.
Diane's monogram Diane 2 D and H.
And on each side, the letters F and M, initial Ferdinand Moreau who bought the castle after the Revolution and who, along with his heirs, made the Château d'Anet into what t you can see today.

To conclude the visit are these magnificent tapestries. They are from Flanders, from the Renaisance and represent hunting scenes.

The largest one shows a hunting scene with a falcon on a cavalier's shoulder on the left, and in the centre on his fist.

To the right of the fireplace, is a bear and a boar hunt.
And on the left, duck hunting, which at the time of Diana, a net was used.

We have come to the end of the visit of the castle.


I hope you had as much pleasure in visiting it as I had in showing you around.

There is free access to the chapel, Masterpiece of de L'orne and to the tomb..

Enjoy the rest of your visit.


Goodbye Ladies and Gentlemen.