A glimpse into the world of the medieval apothecary and a visit to a World War I hospital.
|Apothecary, Chateau de Chenonceau.|
This tour takes place at the Chateau of Chenonceau, where we will visit the 16th century apothecary and the World War I hospital. You will learn about Nostrodamus and his work as an apothecary here, see jars for storing medications and learn what some of the more mysteriously named ones were for and how they were prepared. You will also learn how the Menier family, owners of the chateau, set up a hospital that ran for the duration of the War, treating the seriously injured and introducing cutting edge new medical practices. Afterwards you are free to explore the rest of the chateau at your own pace.
|Apothecary's balance, Chateau of Chenonceau.|
Many of my clients are medical professionals and I always try to include some medical history in my tours. Back in the day, becoming a doctor was one of the ways a bright young man from a humble background could become rich and influential. The way medical developments begin on the battlefield will be familiar to some of my clients, and the struggles to combat common infectious or insect born diseases.
|Galerie des Domes (stableblock), which houses the apothecary and the hospital.|
*meet at the Sphinxes on the driveway in front of the chateau.
*visit the Apothecary.
*visit the Hospital.
*then you are free to explore the rest of the chateau and grounds independently.
|Reconstruction of the WWI hospital at the Chateau of Chenonceau.|
This tour can be customised to suit particular interests -- for example it can be lengthened into a full guided tour of the chateau. Just email me to ask!
|The WWI hospital in Chenonceau was one of the first places to have an x-ray machine.|
Other guides know very little about the history of medicine and I am proud to be able to make your tour more specialist and relevant to you. It is part of Chenonceau's forgotten history.
|16C storage apothecary storage jars, Chateau of Chenonceau.|
This is a walking tour. The paths in the chateau grounds are compacted gravel, the Apothecary and Hospital are on the ground floor of the stable block and have tile floors, no steps.
Price: €75 for groups of up to 4 people. Admission tickets are not included.
Booking: email email@example.com at least one day before you wish to take the tour. Tours can be conducted on any day of the week, throughout the year, at a time to suit you.
About the Guide: I am Susan Walter. I specialise in story telling, the weaving together of this fact and that, this character and their relationship with another. It is a technique which brings alive the history of what is sometimes just stones to look at, but those stones may lead to something wonderfully evocative and provide a better understanding of the past. Much of the history of the Loire Valley is about important characters which you will have heard of, but there is a great deal of hidden history too -- characters who have been forgotten in modern times, motivations for deeds which seem inexplicable can become clear, how different life was then, but also how similar. If you want to know who would graffiti a royal chapel and why, and why it isn't who most guides will tell you it is, then take a tour with me. If you want to know about the history of bathing and personal hygiene, and how that isn't quite what you think it is, then take a tour with me. If you want to meet fascinating characters from history who really made a difference, often women, then take a tour with me.
|A wonderful group of American physiology students who did this history of medicine tour with me.|
English speaking, born and raised in Australia, I lived for 12 years in England, where I worked for the National Trust in their Historic Buildings Conservation Department, and now in the UNESCO World Heritage Listed Loire Valley for more than a decade. I am an active heritage and nature conservation professional with experience of working with conservators and curators to care for historic objects and buildings, and with ecologists caring for our natural environment. Deeply embedded in the local scene I speak quite good French and enjoy life in a small village near some fabulous chateaux and lovely countryside. I'm always happy to talk about life in France and am friends with many wine makers and local food producers.