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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Details

Founded: 1532
Category: Castles and fortifications in France

Rating

4.6/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Phil Manton (2 years ago)
Not sure if I should rate this. Only stopped for a drink in the village on the way through, but it looks and feels great. The coffee was good too
Veste Mocoso (3 years ago)
Beautiful castle and perfect gardens to spend few hours in. We walked them all. They're not too big (as compared to, say, Versailles). We went there in the fall and it was a little hot still. I wouldn't go in the summer but I will admire who has! We couldn't avoid not thinking of how they can maintain those amazing and colorful gardens. You have to go up to the forest and take a look at the gardens from there. This is one of those places just to be, not to spend your time taking pictures. You can see the pictures online at any time. Enjoy your trip!
Debbie R (3 years ago)
We visited this place to celebrate my mom's birthday. She loves gardens and everything plant related! Even our toddler had fun. Needless to say it was the perfect birthday gift for her. We started with a tour of the Chateau de Villandry and finished off our visit with it's beautifully manicured flower and vegetable gardens. I must say this the Chateau de Villandry is lovely but we were most impressed by its magnificent gardens. The gardens of the Chateau de Villandry is definitely one to see if your planning to take a trip to the Loire Valley while visiting France! It will not disappoint and is great for all ages.
brian herzog (3 years ago)
Even in autumn, the gardens are spectacular. And there are no crowds. It seems a fair trade to get a bit less color in return for not having to fight your way through the hordes. If you enjoy gardens of any type, you must visit this chateau.
Bez Stone (3 years ago)
For families : we loved this one! We opted not to go inside (there are only so many castles kids want to walk before they all start looking the same) and spent an hour or two running around the incredible gardens. One of our faves!
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Glimmingehus is the best preserved medieval stronghold in Scandinavia. It was built 1499-1506, during an era when Scania formed a vital part of Denmark, and contains many defensive arrangements of the era, such as parapets, false doors and dead-end corridors, 'murder-holes' for pouring boiling pitch over the attackers, moats, drawbridges and various other forms of death traps to surprise trespassers and protect the nobles against peasant uprisings. The lower part of the castle's stone walls are 2.4 meters (94 inches) thick and the upper part 1.8 meters (71 inches).

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Ulfstand was a councillor, nobleman and admiral serving under John I of Denmark and many objects have been uncovered during archeological excavations that demonstrate the extravagant lifestyle of the knight's family at Glimmingehus up until Ulfstand's death in 1523. Some of the most expensive objects for sale in Europe during this period, such as Venetian glass, painted glass from the Rhine district and Spanish ceramics have been found here. Evidence of the family's wealth can also be seen inside the stone fortress, where everyday comforts for the knight's family included hot air channels in the walls and bench seats in the window recesses. Although considered comfortable for its period, it has also been argued that Glimmingehus was an expression of "Knighthood nostalgia" and not considered opulent or progressive enough even to the knight's contemporaries and especially not to later generations of the Scanian nobility. Glimmingehus is thought to have served as a residential castle for only a few generations before being transformed into a storage facility for grain.

An order from Charles XI to the administrators of the Swedish dominion of Scania in 1676 to demolish the castle, in order to ensure that it would not fall into the hands of the Danish king during the Scanian War, could not be executed. A first attempt, in which 20 Scanian farmers were ordered to assist, proved unsuccessful. An additional force of 130 men were sent to Glimmingehus to execute the order in a second attempt. However, before they could carry out the order, a Danish-Dutch naval division arrived in Ystad, and the Swedes had to abandon the demolition attempts. Throughout the 18th century the castle was used as deposit for agricultural produce and in 1924 it was donated to the Swedish state. Today it is administered by the Swedish National Heritage Board.

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