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Villandry Castle Travel Guide
Villandry Castle, Centre (© Freesurf - Fotolia.com)
Château de Villandry.

Introduction

Blending Renaissance and Neoclassicism, the Villandry is one of the most popular châteaux of the Loire Valley thanks to its breathtaking landscaped gardens.


History

Villandry was built in 1536 by Jean le Breton, Finance Minister of Francis I. It stayed in the hands of his descendants, who assumed the title of Marquis de Villandry, until 1754.

The château was then acquired by Count Michel Ange de Castellane, ambassador of France to the Ottoman Empire, and member of one of Provence's oldest noble families. The new owner added a neoclassical wings, and renovated the interior to the tastes and comfort of the 18th century.

In 1791, the now Marquis of Castellane moved to Paris and sold the estate to François Chénais, wealthy owner of a coffee plantation in the French Caribbean colony of Saint-Domingue (present-day Haïti).

The estate changed hands many times in the 19th century, and was eventually purchased in 1906 by Joachim Carvallo, a Spanish-born medical doctor. He poured an enormous amount of time, money and devotion into repairing it and creating what many consider to be the most beautiful formal gardens anywhere. Mr Carvallo opened the castle and gardens to the public in 1920.


Gardens & Castle of Villandry (© Freesurf - Fotolia.com)
Gardens & Castle of Villandry.

Opening Hours & Admission

The castle and gardens are open daily all year round. The gardens are open from 9:00 am to 5:30 pm (to 5:00 pm from 12th Nov. to 10th Feb., to 6:00 pm in March, to 6:30 pm in October, to 7:00 pm from April to June and in Sept., and to 7:30 pm in July and August). The castle has the same opening hours but closes 30 minutes earlier. The castle is closed from 12th November to 10th February (except 1st and 2nd January, open 9:30am to 4:30pm).

Admission to the castle and garden is 9.5 € for adults, 5.5 € children aged 8 to 18 years old and students with a valid student card, and free under 8 years old. Access to the gardens only is respectively 6.5 € and 4 €. Audioguides (in French, English, Spanish, Italian and German) are available for an extra 3.5 €.

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