Name: Palace of Versailles
Location: Near Paris
Ticket Prices: -
Villandry is an elegant castle from the Renaissance period. Originally a feudal stronghold stood on the spot where Phillip Augustus king of France and Henry II Plantagenet king of England met on July 4, 1189. There contrast were arbitrated in the medieval tower that still stands in the southwest corner of the castle. Phillip Augustus won out and his victory was then sanctioned by the peace of Azay.
A few centuries later the manor became the property of Jean le Breton, president of the Blois Exchequer. He was a well known architect that had worked on Fontainebleau and Chambord.
The two large L-shaped wings contain typically Renaissance elements borrowed from palace built at the beginning of the 16th. century: large windows framed by pilasters with capitals in classic style, horizontal moldings, large dormer windows decorated by superstructures with pediments and volutes.
This wonderful castles is also famous for the magical beauty of its gardens laid out by the famous landscape gardener Doctor Carvallo, it was also develop with the Italian Renaissance style. At that time, Italian gardens were characterized by a geometric layout and a typically architectonic taste. In France the new fashion led to the creation of the “French Gardens” where the garden became larger. Convenient avenues ran along the lower beds where low borders set off the decorative plants.
The gardens of Villandry comprise three tiers of terracing. The lowest level, in the Louis XIV style, takes the form of a rectangle of slightly irregular shape surrounding on three sides the two higher tiers of gardens. It is devoted to vegetable garden and has 9 square sections divided into beds of various colored plants, surrounded by box hedges and hardy plants.
Above the vegetable garden, the ornamental garden is set on the middle terrace, where the castle stands, and in front of which is a bed planted with a pergola walk shaded by vines. At the opposite side of the garden to the castle, there is a maze of clipped trees. On the highest level, whose edges are bounded by arbors, lies the water garden.
The property as a whole gives the impression of a grandiose conception, full of harmony and majesty.
Lulu, from Chicago, USA, wrote:
Villandry was begun in 1536 on the site of a previous structure. The only remaining part from the earlier building is the keep. The Châ was built for Jean le Breton, Franç I's Minister of Finance. After the defeat of Franç I at Pavia, architectural progress was halted in the Loire Valley. Joachim Carvallo , a collector, acquired the Châ in 1906. He imported Spanish paintings and furniture and had all traces of eighteenth-century restoration removed. He imagined the gardens the way they would have looked in the sixteenth century and attempted a recreation of the past. It is a fanciful, but coherent result. The gardens are terraced. The upper level is a water garden; below is a vegetable garden reconstructed from sketches by Jacques I Androuet Du Cerceau. The ornamental garden of the middle level is noteworthy because its colors and motifs symbolize tender love, tragic love, adulterous love, and mad love.
Amanda Ranalli, 16, from Ohio, US. Wrote:
The French castle, Villandry, is very beautiful. It is known for its numerous gardens which grow vegetables and plants used in the 16th century when it was built. I highly recommend this castle for a visit when you are in France.
Mario, 31, from Montreal, Canada, wrote:
Of of my favorite castles I've visited in our last trip (august-September 2000). One of the few castle that is own by a family, until recently the were living inside that castle, they now live on the same land, but in a different building, still castle life. The garden is very beautiful filled with plants, vegetables and fruits. The guide we had while visiting that castle was very interesting, and I learned a lot. One of the things: people in XV were scared of water and were only having a bath one a year … if required !!! A must see if you get in France !