What is your favorite castle and why

Favorite castle on the Loire: Villandry

There are more than 800 castles on the Loire, 442 historically significant monuments and 130 parks and gardens, 27 of which have been awarded the label “Jardins remarquables” (remarkable gardens) ...

Impressive numbers that are listed in the press kit. But no castle, no garden, arrives for meVillandry on it. The castle southwest of Tours is the most beautiful for me: a strict, then again playful, surprising synthesis of architecture and garden art.

This is probably also what the 330,000 visitors who walk through the Villandry grounds every year think so. They heaved with it Château et Jardins de Villandrythird place of the most popular Loire castles, just after Chambord and Chenonceau. Villandry is the last great Renaissance castle in the Loire Valley.

The three green plains of Villandry

What I really love about Villandry are the outdoor facilities. Take a look through the window when you tour the castle. The geometric layout, which changes again and again over the course of the seasons, is best seen from above.

Joachim Carvallo restored the ornate green garden kingdom in the 19th century and is bringing the ensemble back to the original layout. It consists of three levels: the kitchen garden (jardin potager), the ornamental garden (jardin d’ornement) and the water garden (jardin d’eau).

Signs between the ornamentally trimmed flowers and bushes explain the origin and meaning of the plants

Every year in Villandry, 250,000 flower and vegetable cuttings are grown in the greenhouses and placed by hand in the beds that frame the low boxwood carrees.

Lined up together, they would cover a distance of 52 km. Twice a year, in March and June, they are planted according to carefully thought out plans. Contrasts of colors, leaf structures and height of growth ensure tension in the bed.

Garden art with vegetables

Villandry is particularly beautiful in the morning or late afternoon when the low-lying light makes the colors shine. Then the stalks of the ornamental chard shine in deep red, the broad leaves of the Bleu de Solaise leek form silvery-violet contrasts. Salad sets accents from tree frog green to bronze red.

Then whimsically shaped pumpkins break up the strict geometric order. The information board reveals that pumpkin stands for fertility.

The cabbage, on the other hand, symbolizes sexual depravity. And yet it was planted in abundance - as a home remedy for hangovers….

In the garden shop on the castle grounds there are many varieties that are planted there, seeds for your home! And my favorite castle is right on the Loire cycle path!

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In the blog

The Loire Valley of Castles: Here I presented it.

The Loire is France's longest river. And the last one that flows almost naturally from the mountains to the sea. Here learn more!

Cruises are also offered on the lower Loire. Several Loire castles are part of the program. Click for impressions and information here.

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