What was once a hunting lodge for François I is an essential step for lovers of history.  With its representations of 327 illustrious figures, the celebrated “Gallery of Portraits” houses the largest collection of historical portraits in Europe. Inhabited by the same family since 1926, Beauregard continues to showcase and enhance its cachet.

In the late 15th century, the manor belonging to François Doulcet was confiscated by King Louis XII. As a result, Beauregard became the property of the king of France and served as a hunting lodge for François I, which he handed over in 1520 to an uncle of his, René de Savoie.

In 1545 the financial secretary of King Henry II, Jean du Thier, acquired the estate and initiated major work projects; a new wing and a central gallery were added to the original building, endowing Beauregard with harmonious Italian-style architecture.  Today, the roofs are crowned with high-lying, white, Chambord-like chimneys, and the interior decoration commissioned by Jean du Thier has survived in his first-floor study, “the cabinet of Bells”. Over the centuries, intricate carved oak panels and a coffered ceiling have been conserved.

A one-time minister of King Louis XIII, Paul Ardier, withdrew from politics and, in the last act of a distinguished life, purchased the estate. His major achievement consisted in embellishment of the castle’s central gallery. Between 1620 and 1638, 327 portraits were installed on the walls of the château, representing the largest known historical portrait collection in Europe. His son and his granddaughter completed the decoration with Delft paving, lapis lazuli paintings on the ceiling and wood paneling covering the walls. The Ardier family left the estate in 1816.

During the 19th and 20th centuries, the Château de Beauregard underwent modification. The Tillier family modernized the building by installing running water and central heating and undertook a restoration campaign involving not only the edifice, but also the park. Since 1925, the château has belonged to the Du Pavillon family.

A visit to the Château de Beauregard also offers the occasion to discover the park and its Garden of Portraits, a contemporary garden designed by Gilles Clément that brings artfully together some 400 species of  perennials and shrubbery.



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