Results 1-6of 6 Reviews
Moscow, Moskva, Russia
March 11, 2011
Castles of the Loire Valley,
birthplace of true knights
Broadbeach Waters, Australia
July 1, 2009
From journal The Chateau’s of the lovely Loire Valley
May 5, 2008
From journal Sundry Parts Of France
Cinnaminson, New Jersey
November 16, 2003
Next to the dining room is the kitchen has a large number of copper pots and pans, which nowadays can be a real treasure on their own.
On the other side of the staircase there are five large bedrooms, three of which are open to the public, with paintings of 19th century French school, furniture of the times of the second empire and Chinese vases and beautiful parquet floors.
As you walk up the stairs to the second floor along the staircase there are several paintings from Italian school and school of Goya. Along the corridor you can see an old tapestry. There is a large gallery where you can see the Pieta attributed to Morales, retables by Berruguette, and a large number of paintings from the 16th-19th centuries Spanish school, 17th century Flemish school, schools of Murillo, Goya, Berruguette and Zurbaran, as well as paintings by Giordano and Schonfeld. The second floor also has a room with 15th century mudejar ceiling with the star-like patterns in gold, blue, red and white from the palace of the Duke de Maqueda in Toledo. The palace was demolished in 1905 and several mudejar ceilings are now in the collections of various museums around the world, and this one was bought by Dr Carvallo, brought to the chateau in 3600 pieces and put back together like a large puzzle.
You can go up the stairs to the third floor where from the tower of the keep you can get a great view of the entire gardens, and gardens, of course, are what everybody comes here for and what the chateau is so famous for. The most beautiful part of the gardens is the ornamental gardens made up of several gardens of love. Here boxwood hedges are trimmed into heart shapes, in places connected by white, red and pink begonias and rose trees and in places forming labyrinths. There is also a pattern of the Maltese Cross with several other crosses surrounding it and royal lilies planted along the moat. Behind the ornamental gardens you can see the water garden that is built around the artificial lake. And then there are the vegetable and herb gardens that are truly a manmade masterpiece split into squares with different geometrical patterns in the tradition of the herb gardens that used to be planted by the abbey monks, and these gardens are replanted twice a year. On your way towards the exit, there are long alleys lined with grape vines with dark grapes hanging off of them so ripe that you can’t imagine leaving without trying some of them.
From journal Chateaux de Langeais and Villandry
We left chateau de Langeais and a short drive later were at the gates to the next item on our itinerary -- chateau de Villandry. You enter the chateau through the bookshop and the first thing you notice is a narrow moat surrounding the building, the water is rather clean and you can see large carps and white swans swimming in the moat. Chateau exterior somewhat reminds of Azay-le-Rideau with the dormers in the Renaissance style. This is considered to be the last of the great Renaissance chateaux built on the Loire. The first chateau which looked like a medieval fortress was built here in 1536 by Jean le Breton, who was one of Francois I finance ministers and also oversaw the construction of Chambord. Prior to that he spent several years as an ambassador to Italy where in his leisure time he studied Italian Renaissance gardens and that’s where he got the inspiration for the Villandry gardens. In 1754 Marquis de Castellane, king’s ambassador, bought the chateau and fully remodeled it in the 18th century style and added several outbuildings. The Renaissance gardens were destroyed in the 19th century and an English-style park was built in its place. In 1906 Dr Joachim Carvallo, a Spanish-born scientist, bought the chateau, and saved it from demolition. He created the French-style 16th century gardens that the chateau is famous for nowadays. Dr Carvallo’s descendents still live in the chateau.
You start the tour of the chateau with the Model room that as the name suggests has a miniature model of the chateau with the gardens. The Salon which is also a reception room with yellow walls and chairs of the 1st empire times has a beautiful 17th century Flemish tapestry "Diane Chasseresse". Paintings on the walls are of Spanish school of the 17th century. The room next door is the study that has more of the 1st empire furniture with purple fabric and is where Dr Carvallo used to spend hours on end designing the layout and shape of the gardens. There is a painting "Portrait of the chef of Chouans", a tapestry and an 18th century Spanish school statue of the Virgin and a child. The view of the gardens from the window is absolutely glorious. The dining room has a gorgeous crystal chandelier and a 17th century Italian painting on the wall.
Continued in Part II