This is Part 2 of a 3 part series on Springtime in the Loire Valley. For Part 1, click here…
Château de Villandry
Most châteaux in the Loire Valley have some sort of garden around them. After all, with no technology and internet, what else were the rich and famous residents of the past to do except to walk around in the garden? However, most of the gardens of the châteaux in the Loire Valley do not compare to the large, beautiful and intricate gardens of Château de Villandry.
The Château de Villandry was built around 1536, at the end of the Renaissance period. In the early 20th century, Joachim Carvallo, a Spanish scientist, devoted himself to restore the castle and the Renaissance gardens. There are actually 7 different parts to these elaborate gardens, but we’ll only touch on a few here.
Good news and bad news about this château. The bad news is that we spent too much time at Château de Villandry and we arrived at the Château Azay-Le-Rideau just at closing time. (Boo.) But, the good news is that the surrounding gardens were still open for one more hour and we could walk around for free. (Yay!)
I’m sure that the interior of this château is beautiful, too, but for me, the best parts of this château were from the exterior. The château, like Château Villandry, was built in the 16th century on an island in the middle of the Indre River, which gives it a dramatic appearance with its reflection in the river waters.
The last château of the day was the Château d’Amboise. This château was the royal residence of the French kings from the 15th to the 19th centuries. We were definitely too late to visit this château, but we were able to have dinner in its beautiful shadow.
Until next time….