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TRAVELOGUE: Playground of the Kings: Renaissance Châteaux of the Loire Valley 

Two hours southwest of Paris is the lush and legendary Loire Valley — nicknamed the “playground of kings and queens” and home to some of France’s bloodiest battles, greatest architecture and wonderful wines. Join travel writer/ architectural historian and Wanderlust Tours owner, Shawnie Kelley at Upper Arlington’s Main Public Library, as she explores the flourishing arts and architecture during the reign of King Francis I (1494-1547) whose appreciation for Italian culture inspired a new level of creativity and innovation throughout French society. The Renaissance king’s 32-year legacy is felt throughout the fine arts, architecture, gardens, music, and court life. Her presentation and slideshow covers the original medieval castle at the Louvre, the “ château of women” at Chenonceau, and the fortress at Chinon where Joan of Arc rallied future King Charles VII. Shawnie’s travelogue also explores the royal châteaux at Amboise, Chambord, and a few lesser-known castles associated with kings, queens, mistresses, and Leonardo Da Vinci.

Free to the public and plenty of parking available.