Chateau de Chenonceau Chenonceau is considered by many the loveliest of the Loire Chateaux. It was begun in 1512. There is a juicy story behind it, too... King Henri II gave it to Diane de Poitiers, his lifelong mistress, in 1547. But upon Henri's death in 1559 his wife, Catherine De Medicis, forced Diane to leave and claimed it for herself. NOW I, MEHITABEL XVII, AM HENCEFORTH CLAIMING IT!