Springtime in the Loire Valley: Three More Châteaux

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.

Although most of the beauty of this Château is outdoors, I still loved the feminine details of this dining room.
There are many more flowers outside, but the flower arrangements inside were beautiful, too. I loved this flower arrangement, found in one of the bedrooms.

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.

This was my favorite garden called The Ornamental Garden, with the red tulips just starting to peek through.
In the foreground there are 4 squares that make up the love gardens. From the top left and going clockwise, you have: 1) “Tender love” symbolized by hearts separated by small flames, 2) “Passionate love” with hearts broken by passion and laid in a way to give the idea of dancing, 3) “Flighty love” symbolized by butterflies, fans and love letters, and 4) “Tragic love” symbolized by the blades of dangers and swords used in duels.
The flowers planted in “Tragic Love” (foreground) are red, which symbolize bloodshed
The Kitchen Gardens, made up of 9 different squares of differing geometric shapes
Vegetables of varying colors are planted here to create the illusion of a chessboard
The Kitchen Gardens date back to the Middle Ages where the abbey monks liked to lay out their vegetables in geometric shapes. The French gardeners of the Renaissance combined this monastic style with the Italian influence of square flower beds.

Château Azay-Le-Rideau

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 entrance of the Château Azay-Le-Rideau with the escalier d’honneur (grand central staircase) in the center
Beautiful tulips leading up to the entrance of the château
Entry doors

Château d’Amboise

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.

Château d’Amboise during the Day…
…and at night

Until next time….

S

One response to “Springtime in the Loire Valley: Three More Châteaux

  1. Pingback: Springtime in the Loire Valley: Château de Chenonceau | Je Parle Franglais·

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