Essential Architecture-  Loire Valley Châteaux

Château du Rivau




Loire Valley, north-western France.




French Renaissance




  Entrance of Chateau du Rivau
  Great Hall of Chateau du Rivau
  Golden Fleece Room, Chateau du Rivau
Moated in the 1400s and humanized by the Renaissance, half attractive château, half fortress, Le Rivau is one of the most important places in the Touraine region. In Rabelais' Gargantua, it was given to captain Tolmere as a reward for his victories in the Picrocholean Wars.

In 1429, towards the end of the Hundred Years' War, before the siege of Orleans, Joan of Arc and her followers came to fetch horses at Le Rivau, already renowned for the quality of its equipage and war horses who were raised there. In 1510 François de Beauvau, captain of François I, constructed the monumental stables in the outbuildings courtyard, that supplied royal stallions. He died at the Battle of Sesia River, at the side of Bayard, on 30 April 1524.

Since 1992, the new owners have undertaken a huge renovation campaign to prevent the decay of the castle, stable, and winery. This ensemble is quite exceptional in the region and was designated as a "Monument historique".

12 newly designed gardens (listed as "remarkable gardens") evoke the medieval art of gardening, while temporary and permanent exhibits display contemporary art.

Fairy tale gardens
The 12 gardens of Rivau are labeled Jardin Remarquable, a French organisation the recognises remarkable gardens. They are inspired by fairytales and legends and take the visitors in a beautiful and fantastical journey. The Rivau fairytales gardens are also a treat for the rose lovers and gardeners. The Gardens display a collection of more than 300 roses from such famous rose makers as Andre Eve or David Austin. The gardens of the Rivau are also famous for their contemporary art sculptures that are displayed around the gardens with pieces of artists such as Fabien Verschaere, Cat Loray, Jerôme Basserode, Frans Krajcberg ou de Philippe Ramette présentes dans les jardins du Rivau.

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