The Château de Janvry dates back to the 17th century. It is still partially surrounded by watered moats. Its main building includes a primary wing facing west and two attached side wings, the north wing and the south wing. All wings are linked, creating a U-shaped château.
The château was built around 1600 and 1650 in the Louis XIII architectural style. It has been part of the Reille family for many centuries. The château has always been passted from generation to generation by the women of the family. Therefore, each succession brought a new last name as the estate’s owner. During the French Revolution of 1789, the château was robbed, resulting in the family losing all of its older documents regarding the château, its estate and history. Since the mid-19th century, the château has been used as a secondary residence by the family. The monument located at the village entrance was built following the death while giving birth in 1847 of Elisabeth Anjoran.
The Baron Jean Victor Reille inherited the domain during the Second World War. As the château had been unoccupied by the Reille family during the war, German, English and French troops were successfully lodged in the château. Local inhabitants witnessed the degradation of the property by some of the French troops, unlike the Germans or the English who took care of the estate. Some soldiers extracted wood panels from the original 17th-century hardwood floors to use as fuel for the master living room chimney during the harsh winter months. Today, traces of the new and replaced wooden panels can be seen in some parts of the formal living rooms. Also, in a bedroom on the second floor of the north-west tower, some inscriptions and writings on the walls can be found, witnessing the occupancy by French soldiers.
When Baron Jean Reille arrived to the château returning from the war, nettles were growing in some of the rooms of the house. Over the next few years following the end of the Second World, he and his wife Liliane successfully gave the château back its ancient splendor by installing a new roof, adding modern plumbing and electricity, also remodeling the interior of the house. His son, the Baron Ghislain Reille, pursued this laborious work when he took responsibility over the house in the 1980s. The château is now a modern property where many renovations have been made within the original style and charm of the Louis XIII-style chateau.
The main building follows a Louis XIII architectural style. Following this architecture trends, the château shows a very typical dissymmetry, unique to the Louis XIII style. The west side of the main building has four windows left to the main entrance, and three on the right side. Similarly, on the east side of the building (facing the private park), five windows can be found on the right of the entrance door and four on the left.
This courtyard is surrounded by barns and granaries forming a closed square where poultry, cattle and other farm animals used to be raised. All barns still have many traces of past activities. In one cowshed, some cows’ names can be seen. The stable is still functional and can house up to four horses. The attics above the barns are sumptuous with their vaulted ceilings and large oak beams from the local forests. One barn in particular has ceilings soaring 15–20 metres high. They were used to store cereals and grains. One of the barns leads to the south-western part of the tower, where four jail cells can still be found. In order to preserve its authenticity, no one has ever renovated these cells. Only a small and inaccessible fanlight gives air and light to the room. Two of the four jail doors are still present. It has been confirmed that these jail cells were being used during the Second World War for war prisoners.
The cellar runs under the entire west and north wings. The vaulted cellar has been used to store food and wine for many years. The cider and apple liquor produced in the château were stored there to mature.
The château is surrounded by a 14 hectare park. The park offers complete privacy and is surrounded by stone walls except for a small section wire netted. The park includes 10 hectares of forest with large alleys for leisurely strolls. There is more than two hectares of grassy area, half of which is mowed lawn. A one hectare lake and a tennis court are also located in the park. The park is accessible to modern vehicles through the small courtyard. There are also two portals located on the east and north walls.References:
Charlottenburg Palace is the largest palace in Berlin and the only surviving royal residence in the city dating back to the time of the Hohenzollern family. The original palace was commissioned by Sophie Charlotte, the wife of Friedrich III, Elector of Brandenburg in what was then the village of Lietzow. Originally named Lietzenburg, the palace was designed by Johann Arnold Nering in baroque style. The inauguration of the palace was celebrated on 11 July 1699, Frederick's 42nd birthday.
Friedrich crowned himself as King Friedrich I in Prussia in 1701 (Friedrich II, known as Frederick the Great, would later achieve the title King of Prussia). Two years previously, he had appointed Johann Friedrich von Eosander (also known as Eosander von Göthe) as the royal architect and sent him to study architectural developments in Italy and France, particularly the Palace of Versailles. On his return in 1702, Eosander began to extend the palace, starting with two side wings to enclose a large courtyard, and the main palace was extended on both sides. Sophie Charlotte died in 1705 and Friedrich named the palace and its estate Charlottenburg in her memory. In the following years, the Orangery was built on the west of the palace and the central area was extended with a large domed tower and a larger vestibule. On top of the dome is a wind vane in the form of a gilded statue representing Fortune designed by Andreas Heidt. The Orangery was originally used to overwinter rare plants. During the summer months, when over 500 orange, citrus and sour orange trees decorated the baroque garden, the Orangery regularly was the gorgeous scene of courtly festivities.
Inside the palace, was a room described as 'the eighth wonder of the world', the Amber Room, a room with its walls surfaced in decorative amber. It was designed by Andreas Schlüter and its construction by the Danish amber craftsman Gottfried Wolfram started in 1701. Friedrich Wilhelm I gave the Amber Room to Tsar Peter the Great as a present in 1716.
When Friedrich I died in 1713, he was succeeded by his son, Friedrich Wilhelm I whose building plans were less ambitious, although he did ensure that the building was properly maintained. Building was resumed after his son Friedrich II (Frederick the Great) came to the throne in 1740. During that year, stables for his personal guard regiment were completed to the south of the Orangery wing and work was started on the east wing. The building of the new wing was supervised by Georg Wenzeslaus von Knobelsdorff, the Superintendent of all the Royal Palaces, who largely followed Eosander's design. The decoration of the exterior was relatively simple but the interior furnishings were lavish. The ground floor was intended for Frederick's wife Elisabeth Christine, who, preferring Schönhausen Palace, was only an occasional visitor. The decoration of the upper floor, which included the White Hall, the Banqueting Hall, the Throne Room and the Golden Gallery, was lavish and was designed mainly by Johann August Nahl. In 1747, a second apartment for the king was prepared in the distant eastern part of the wing. During this time, Sanssouci was being built at Potsdam and once this was completed Frederick was only an occasional visitor to Charlottenburg.
In 1786, Frederick was succeeded by his nephew Friedrich Wilhelm II who transformed five rooms on the ground floor of the east wing into his summer quarters and part of the upper floor into Winter Chambers, although he did not live long enough to use them. His son, Friedrich Wilhelm III came to the throne in 1797 and reigned with his wife, Queen Luise for 43 years. They spent much of this time living in the east wing of Charlottenburg. Their eldest son, Friedrich Wilhelm IV, who reigned from 1840 to 1861, lived in the upper storey of the central palace building. After Friedrich Wilhelm IV died, the only other royal resident of the palace was Friedrich III who reigned for 99 days in 1888.
The palace was badly damaged in 1943 during the Second World War. In 1951, the war-damaged Stadtschloss in East Berlin was demolished and, as the damage to Charlottenburg was at least as serious, it was feared that it would also be demolished. However, following the efforts of Margarete Kühn, the Director of the State Palaces and Gardens, it was rebuilt to its former condition, with gigantic modern ceiling paintings by Hann Trier.
The garden was designed in 1697 in baroque style by Simeon Godeau who had been influenced by André Le Nôtre, designer of the gardens at Versailles. Godeau's design consisted of geometric patterns, with avenues and moats, which separated the garden from its natural surroundings. Beyond the formal gardens was the Carp Pond. Towards the end of the 18th century, a less formal, more natural-looking garden design became fashionable. In 1787 the Royal Gardener Georg Steiner redesigned the garden in the English landscape style for Friedrich Wilhelm II, the work being directed by Peter Joseph Lenné. After the Second World War, the centre of the garden was restored to its previous baroque style.