Located a few kilometres south of Blois, the Renaissance Château de Beauregard encloses an exceptional portrait gallery depicting 327 European monarchs, ministers, clergymen, marshals, diplomats and other notables who lived between the reign of Philip VI (r. 1328) and the death of Louis XIII (1643). 25 nationalities are represented in total. Each portrait measures in average 55 cm on 45 cm.
Among famous individuals portraits are Marie de' Medici, Cardinal Richelieu, Ferdinand of Aragon & Isabella of Castile, Christopher Columbus, Henry VIII of England, Mary Tudor, Elizabeth I of England, Francis Drake, William I of Orange, Visconti and Sforza Dukes of Milan, Cesare Borgia, five Holy Roman Emperors (including Charles V), several Dukes of Burgundy, Popes and Turkish Sultans, and all 15 French kings from Philip VI to Louis XIII.
The estate of Beauregard expands on 70 hectares, 40 of which were laid out as gardens. They contain 400 species of perennials and shrubs and are particularly noted for the 107 varieties of roses, which form one of the largest rose gardens of the Loire Valley.
A small manor built at the end of the 15th century was later used by King Francis I as a hunting lodge.
Most of the present castle was built around 1545, when it was bought by Jean du Thiers, Lord of Menars, and Finance Minister to Henri II. Humanist and sponsor of the arts, Jean du Thiers, brought artists and craftsmen from abroad, notably Itay, to decorate the castle. He was also a patron to the great Renaissance poets Joachim du Bellay and Pierre de Ronsard.
After du Thiers's death in 1559, the estate is taken over by Florimond Robertet d’Alluye, the new Finance Minister. In 1617, the domain is acquired by Paul Ardier, who served as minister under Henry III, Henry IV and Louis XIII. At the age of 72 he transformed the castle to accommodate the potrait gallery.
Beauregard remained the property of the Ardier family until 1816. It then passed to a succession of owners, including such illustrious families as the Sainte Aldegonde and Talleyrand-Périgord. The château is still in private hands and inhabited by its owners (currently the comtesse du Cheyron du Pavillon) to this day.
Opening Hours & Admission
The château is open daily from 18th February to 11th November. From 1st June to 30th September it is open from 10:00 am to 7:00 pm. From 15th April to 31st May it is open from 10:30 am to 6:30 pm. The rest of the year ( 18th February to 14th April, and 1st October to 11th November) it is open on weekends from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm (till 5:00 pm in February), and on week days from 1:00 pm to 6:00 pm (till 5:00 pm in February).
Admission to the castle and park is 12.5 € for adults, 5 € children aged 5 to 13 years old, and free under 5 years old. Access to the park only is 9 / 5 €.
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