The castle and gardens of Villandry are one of the world’s artistic heritage of the period most representative renaissance built on the banks of the Loire.This residence, in contrast to many others, it was not the King is staying or heads of government of the time, but by Jean Le Breton, Minister of Finance of Francis I that when he arrived in 1532, razed the ancient feudal fortress with the exception of the tower, testimony of the conference held July 4th, 1189 in which Henry II of England had conceded defeat before King Philip Augustus of France and signed the “Paix de Colombiers” (peace of Colombiers)
Le Breton, passionate about architecture, rebuilt and restored the castle with advanced forms in harmony with nature, also replacing the ramparts had become walls to admire the scenery. The old medieval gardens became instead shining ornamental gardens.
In 1754 the property was acquired by the Marquis de Castellane fond of neoclassicism.
The Marchese decided to make several changes to both the castle gardens, all in line with the historical period.
Were installed also have wooden panels for thermal and acoustic insulation and, on each floor, were placed the intertwined initials of Michel-Ange de Castellane.
The gardens were expanded in 1760 once the Marquis bought new lands in which to create a formal garden.
The new gardens were laid out in formal French style with an ornamental lake, orange trees, flower beds and terraces
After 1791 the estate passed through several owners including Jerome Bonaparte, Napoleon’s younger brother. But only in 1908, the gardens of Villandry were restored to its Renaissance splendor thanks to the new owner Joachim Carvallo, who has spent ten years restoring the gardens and the castle so that they could shine like 500 years ago! Carvallo called the Spanish painter Lozano and the landscape architect Javier de Winthuysen to redesign the halls of crosses and of love, and took charge personally the music’s hall.
The 6 gardens of Villandry
On the ground floor there is the vegetable garden, built to feed several families. Being close to the castle must also give a good self-image and, therefore, has been divided into 9 equal squares, but by “drawing” several.
There are two plantings a year: the spring from March to June and the summer season from July to October.
At the intermediate level there are the ornamental gardens designed as a natural extension of the rooms of the castle.
The box hedges are talking endless reasons as Love, music and religion.
At the third level there are the water garden that is designed around a small lake created both for watering the gardens to be a place of meditation.
The herb garden, a bit ‘like the garden, provides the families of medicinal herbs, aromatic and other.
The maze finally, with its winding paths, symbolizes the man who progresses peacefully and smoothly toward God.
On the top level, finally, there is the garden of the sun, the most recent of all.
It was built in 2008 by Herny Carvallo inspired by a project of his ancestor Joachim.
The garden is divided into three areas:
- The solarium, which is the central part formed by a pond 8-pointed sun-shaped and perennial flower beds with various shades of orange.
- The room in which the cloud grassy paths meandering form triangles in and out among the roses and shrubs.
- The children’s room with outdoor play and apple trees.
Where, How, When
The gardens are open all year round while the castle from February 6 to 13 November and during the Christmas holidays.
The admission tickets for 2016 were the following costs:
Chateau + Gaardens Only giardens
Adults € 10,50 € 6,50
Youngs ( 8-18 years)€ 6,50 € 4,50
Gruppi (15 people minimum)€ 8 € 5
Audioguide € 4
Children under 8 years old, free entrance
Chateau de Villandry
3, Rue Principale