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This is one of the three chateaux we visited in the Loire Valley. We chose Villandry because of its famous beautiful gardens.

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Villandry is unusual in that it is a Renaissance castle that was the residence of neither a king nor a courtesan, but of Jean Le Breton, Minister of Finance for François I.

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He drew on his experience supervising and directing the construction at many sites, including Chateau de Chambord (one of the trio, click here to see our post).

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Its construction started in 1532 around a Medieval feudal fortress. In 1754, the interior was significantly upgraded in the neoclassical style by the then-new owner – Marquis de Castellane.

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The interior of Villandry is much more habitable than Chambord and Chenonceau (the other famous chateau we saw, click here to see the post).

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In 1906, it was purchased by Joachim Carvallo who began restoring the castle. The Carvallo family is the current owner of the estate.

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Not only the castle was restored, the gardens which had been outstanding since the beginning was also recreated and reinvented according to the Renaissance style, based on old plans, archaeological and literary clues.

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As you can see, there are many gardens: a water garden, ornamental flower gardens, and vegetable gardens.

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Some of the photos looked like SimCity screenshots ?!

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From the top of the turret, one can see all the formal gardens in their complex geometric shapes.

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The gardens are laid out in formal patterns created with low box hedges.

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At the ground level, the shapes are actually much bigger than we thought.

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In 1934, Château de Villandry was designated a Monument historique. Like all the other châteaux of the Loire Valley, it is a World Heritage Site.

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It is worthwhile visiting their web site here for their collection of photos of the seasonally-changing gardens over the past years.

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With Villandry, we concluded our visits of the chateaux of the Loire Valley.

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