Friday, June 30, 2017

France, Loire Valley - Château de Villandry VII (Gardens)

The Château of Villandry, in the Centre Val de Loire region, is a Renaissance château especially known for its beautiful gardens. 

Keen on architecture, Jean Le Breton was also interested in the art of gardening. 
Times had changed. 
Feudal fortresses made way for delicate chateaux, 
ramparts became walls which now allowed one to gaze out over the surrounding landscape, 
the enclosed, utilitarian gardens of the Middle Ages made way for ornamental gardens, 
in a gentle transition between the house and its natural setting. 
Villandry was no exception to the new fashion. 
At the foot of the chateau, overlooking the River Cher, gardens were laid 
and their splendor already earned the estate a reputation outside the Loire Valley.

The acquisition of Villandry by Joachim Carvallo marked a return to their roots for the gardens. 
Already known for their beauty in the Renaissance, different owners successively transformed them, 
now into a formal garden, now a romantic garden. 
With a scientist’s meticulousness, Carvallo recreated gardens that were worthy of the restored chateau.

Ever since the construction of the Chateau of Villandry in 1532, outstanding gardens have embellished the building. 
The passage of time and changing fashions meant they underwent drastic changes in appearance. 
Archeological findings tell us how, in the Renaissance, there was a decorative kitchen garden at close proximity to the chateau.
In the 18th century, the grounds were enlarged and enriched with a formal garden, 
then an ornamental lake in the shape of a Louis XV mirror. 

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