The Château de Villandry was the last of the major Loire châteaux built during the Renaissance in the Loire valley.
Today, only the castle keep (where, in 1189, King Henry II of England conceded defeat to Philippe Augustus, the French king) still remains from the old feudal fortress built not far away from Tours.
Jean Le Breton, one of King Francis I's ministers, designed the architecture with its French Renaissance style: a gallery with arcades, richly decorated pilasters, a steeply sloping roof, etc. After the transformations undertaken in the 18th century, Joachim Carvallo (a doctor at the Paris medical faculty) and Ann Coleman (an American steel heiress) undertook wide-scale restoration work on the architecture of Villandry. And now their great-grandson, Henri Carvallo, manages the estate and its famous gardens.
Because alongside the château itself, Villandry is most of all famous in France and all over the world for its wonderful gardens. Adults and children love strolling through the Renaissance vegetable garden, the "Love Gardens", the water garden, the medicinal plant garden and the maze, while not forgetting the flamboyant Sun garden, with plenty of photo opportunities.
Day by day, the estate's gardeners pamper the vegetables in the greenhouse, prune the roses and box trees, and look after all the organic plants and trees. Many species of birds flourish on the site, which is listed by the LPO, the French Bird Protection League.
A visit to the Château de Villandry is also a chance to see a series of rooms in beautiful 18th century style and a collection of vintage Spanish paintings. Villandry is located on the Loire à Vélo cycling trail, between Tours and Saumur. It is often a favourite stop for bicycle tourists, before they continue on to the châteaux of Langeais, Azay-le-Rideau and Chinon, which are all also in the Indre-et-Loire region.
Rating / Labels
- Jardin remarquable
- 500 ans RenaissanceS
- Accueil Vélo site de visite et de loisirs
- Démarche d'excellence grands sites
- Escapades aux jardins
- Parcs et Jardins en région Centre
- Site Ambassadeur Unesco
Comfort / services
- Full adult price : Jardins
- Child rate : Jardins
- Free rate : Moins de 8 ans