Essential Architecture-  Loire Valley Châteaux

Château de Villandry

architect

Jean Le Breton

location

Loire Valley, north-western France.

date

early 1500’s

style

French Renaissance

construction

Stone constructed around the original 14th-century keep

type

Palace
 
  At the Château.
 
  Garden at the Château.
   
The Château de Villandry is located in Villandry, in the département of Indre-et-Loire, France.

The lands where an ancient fortress once stood were known as Colombier until the 17th century. Acquired in the early 1500’s by Jean Le Breton, France’s Controller-General for War under King Francois I, a new château was constructed around the original 14th-century keep where King Philip II of France once met Richard I of England (“the Lionhearted”) to discuss peace.

The château remained in the Le Breton family for more than two centuries until it was acquired by the Marquis de Castellane. During the French Revolution the property was confiscated and in the early 1800’s Emperor Napoleon acquired it for his brother Joseph Bonaparte.

In 1906, Dr. Joachim Carvallo purchased the property and poured an enormous amount of time, money and devotion into repairing it and creating what many consider to be the most beautiful gardens anywhere. Its famous Renaissance gardens include a water garden, ornamental flower gardens, and vegetable gardens. The gardens are laid out in formal patterns created with low box hedges. In 1934, Château de Villandry was designated a Monument historique. Like all the other châteaux of the Loire Valley, it is a World Heritage Site.

Still owned by the Carvallo family, the Château de Villandry is open to the public and is one of the most visited châteaux in France.

links

Official site
Photos of Villandry
www.paris-architecture.info