Château de Villandry

Villandry, France

The Château de Villandry is a castle-palace located in Villandry, in the département of Indre-et-Loire. The lands where an ancient fortress once stood were known as Colombier until the 17th century. Acquired in the early 16th century by Jean Le Breton, France's Controller-General for War under King Francis I, a new château was constructed around the original 14th-century keep where King Philip II of France once met Richard I of England to discuss peace. It is also known for its beautiful gardens.

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 19th century, Emperor Napoleon acquired it for his brother Joseph Bonaparte.

In 1906, 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; in 2007 the château received about 330,000 visitors.

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Founded: 1532
Category: Castles and fortifications in France

Rating

4.7/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Steve Olson (14 months ago)
Beautiful Chateau and the grounds are beyond my imagination! I could have sat in the gardens for hours watching the swans. My family loved the day we spent here BUT don’t waste your time in the ice cream shop. Over priced, tiny scoop, and the rudest staff we have encountered in France.
Brenna Maawad (14 months ago)
This is a must see for the gardens alone! The indoors were one of my favorites, the wallpaper and decorations were so beautiful. Definitely visit the castle first and take your time walking around the gardens. The labyrinth is fun, the flowers were blooming and it was just so beautiful. Visit during spring, especially May.
Anika T (2 years ago)
This chateau has one of the most beautiful and pleasant smelling gardens in Loire Valley! It's well kept and super organized how they rotate the vegetations each season! I also like that there are explanations for everything in French and English. You can buy tickets just to visit the garden itself. The chateau is ok but u can climb to the roof top to get an aerial view of the garden and there are some interesting private art collections by the owner. Good place to bring kids. They would enjoy the maze.
Michelle Mitton (2 years ago)
A really lovely chateau that was a fun stop on the trip. It's smaller than some of the more popular chateaux but well kept and you can see quite a bit of the property. I loved seeing family pictures set out and to get a feel of their lives. The gardens are, of course, the best and are worth a stop just for that alone. There's a room in there upstairs that is a gallery of photos of the grounds and gardeners that is really lovely. The family art collection is on display and while there isn't anything in there I liked, it certainly was interesting!
Antonieta Ponce de Leão (2 years ago)
What an amazing garden! I’m not sure I ever went to Versailles, but I sure saw a lot of castles, and this is more like a palace (on my definition of castle ?, well on what I’m used to in Portugal and UK) but it is lovely! I had a great time seeing the castle and strolling through the garden. I didn’t get an audio guide but I listened a bit to the French tour, and even though I can’t speak French, I understood enough to say, if you get on time of a tour, take it ☺️. The tour is only on the castle, but the guide was funny and you could she she loved her job ☺️ This place is really worth a visit, and I need more vacation days to see all the castles ?
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