Domaine of Villarceaux

Chaussy, France

The Domaine of Villarceaux is a French château, water garden and park located in the commune of Chaussy. The gardens are located on the site of a medieval castle from the 11th century, built to protect France from the British, who at that time occupied Normandy, the neighboring province. Many vestiges of the medieval fortifications remain in the park. A manor house and French water garden was built there in the 17th century. In the 18th century a château in the style of Louis XV was built on a rocky hill overlooking the water garden.

One famous resident in the 17th century was Ninon de Lenclos, the author, courtesan, and patron of the arts. Another was Françoise d'Aubigné, the future Madame de Maintenon and future wife of King Louis XIV, who lived there after the death of her first husband, the poet Paul Scarron, at the invitation of her friends the Montchevreuil, cousins of the Marquis of Villarceaux. The Marquis fell in love with her, and commissioned a full-length portrait of her, nude, which greatly embarrassed her. The portrait can be seen today in the dining room of the house. The house also contains a collection of 18th-century furniture.

The domaine is part of the regional park of Vexin, and is used for concerts and cultural events. The gardens are classified among the Notable Gardens of France.

The gardens contain a rare 18th-century ornamental feature called a vertugadin, modelled after the hoop skirts of the 18th century, surrounded by statues brought from Italy.

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Details

Founded: 11th century
Category: Castles and fortifications in France
Historical period: Birth of Capetian dynasty (France)

Rating

4.6/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Laurent Pommier (5 months ago)
Amazing garden Free of charge
steve howie (5 months ago)
Wonderful, unexpected delight. Entry free, amazingly!
Alistair Urie (16 months ago)
Nice visit but the gardens are a bit run down
patricia dewit (18 months ago)
Gorgeous piece of history!
Claudio Vergari (2 years ago)
Visiting this chateau and gardens makes for a very nice couple of hours. The gardens are beautiful, with large ponds, hills, and a nice little walk among a medieval garden with aromatic herbs. The chateau itself is a nice change from the outdoors walk, but nothing spectacular. The fact that entrance is free is a nice plus.
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