Château de Chenonceau Castle, France
The current Chenonceau castle was built during the 15th century after the original castle was destroyed during the Hundred Years' War.
When principal architect Thomas Bohier was called off to war while the castle was being constructed, his wife, Katherine Briçonnet, took over. After the state uncovered suspicious financial dealings, Chenonceau was confiscated in 1535, and Henri II gave it to his mistress, Diane de Poitiers, much to the chagrin of his wife, Catherine de Médicis. Nevertheless, the latter reclaimed the castle upon her husband's death and spousal justice was served.
Of note to architecture fans is that the competing styles of Diane de Poitiers and Catherine de Médicis are evident throughout the castle.
Later, when the government threatened to seize the castle during the French Revolution, Louise Dupin thwarted officials by using historical documents to prove the castle was privately owned, thus saving it from destruction.
Why it's a must-see
Château de Chenonceau, or the "Women's Castle," is the only castle built, decorated, inhabited and saved by women, making it a great place to understand the role of women during the Renaissance.