Friday, January 9, 2009

Quiz: Do You Know Your French Châteaux?

Admit it: you've dreamt of living in one, of dancing in the ballroom, dining in the great hall, strolling about the grounds. The chateaux of France evoke all the romance and elegance of the sixteenth century. Can you identify the châteaux on the basis of historical clues? Take this quiz to find out.

1. This château spans the Cher River and was the home of Henri II's mistress Diane de Poitiers.

a. Chambord  
b. Chenonceau  
c. Amboise

2. Leonardo Da Vinci died in a house on the grounds of this château.
a. Amboise  
b. Saint-Germain-en-Laye  
c. Blois

3. Completely destroyed in 1790, this château was built by François I in the Bois de Boulogne after his return from captivity in Spain in 1527. It was nicknamed the "Chateau de Faïence" because all of the exterior walls were covered with majolica and high relief.

a. La Muette  
b. Challau 
c. Madrid

4. This château was the seat of Henry II, Angevin King and King of England, and his wife Eleanor of Aquitaine; it was here that Joan of Arc persuaded Charles VII to declare himself king and raise an army to liberate France; in 1562, Henri IV turned it into a state prison.

a. Azay-le-Rideau  
b. Châteaudun  
c. Chinon

5. In the mid-1200's, this château became the home of the royal treasury; at the end of the sixteenth century, Henri IV added a huge addition that was over a quarter of a mile long and a hundred feet wide; now a glass pyramid sits in its central courtyard.

a. the Louvre 
b. Blois 
c. Vincennes

6. Catherine de Medici purchased this castle after the death of her husband Henri II and forced his mistress, Diane de Poitiers, to exchange Chenonceau for it; Benjamin Franklin was a guest there during the 1760's; it was the home of the writer Madame de Stael in the early nineteenth century.

a. Chaumont  
b. Loches  
c. Plessis-lez-Tours

7. This château was built by William the Conqueror in 1080; in 1182, Henry II and his sons Richard the Lionheart and John Lackland held a Christmas celebration there and received more than one thousand knights.

a. Domfront  
b. Biron  
c. Caen

8. This château was the seat of the Counts of Anjou; its chapel housed a splinter of the True Cross; it later became a military academy where the Duke of Wellington, who helped defeat Napoleon in the Battle of Waterloo, trained.

a. Indres  
b. Angers 
c. Beaugency

9. This château was built on such a steep promontory that it was said that its founder had the help of the water fairy Mélusine; it was the seat of a family that distinguished itself in the First Crusade and held the crowns of two Crusader kingdoms; it is featured in the miniatures of the Très Riches Heures du Duc de Berri.

a. Lusignan  
b. Angoulême  
c. Montignac

10. This lavish chateau was built by Louis XIV's finance minister, Nicolas Fouquet, who, after hosting an extravagant fete for the king there, was arrested and charged with causing France's financial disorders.

a. Vaux-le-Vicomte 
b. Langeais  
c. Ussé

Check back tomorrow night for the correct answers!


cindy said...

oh my. i flunk! thanks for enlightening julianne! funny thing? before i moved out to london to live with my hub (then boyfriend), he promised me he'd "rent" a chataeux for us to stay in. how romantic, right? never happened. and the furthest we got to france was calais. hahaha! =) i still tease him about it.

Julianne Douglas said...

Hey now you have the perfect excuse for renting that chateau--once your book pubs and you're a famous author and all, you'll need an escape to get away from all the paparazzi! ;)

cindy said...

julianne, if i ever rent a chateaux to escape the fotogs, i'll invite you, too! =D

Julianne Douglas said...

Ooh, I'm never going to let you forget that!!!