Overlooking the Nahon valley, presenting both Renaissance and classical architecture, the Château de Valençay is one of a kind. Before being acquired in 1803 by Charles-Maurice de Talleyrand-Périgord, it had been more or less under construction for three centuries, harmoniously incorporating several architectural styles. Slowly but surely, it became one of the most prestigious châteaux in the Loire valley. The visitor will enjoy guided tours, garden strolls, and an Empire-style theater.

Construction of the Château de Valençay began at the outset of the 16th century on the initiative of Louis d’Estampes and Marie Hurault. In Valençay, the power of the dEstampes family was expressed in the modernity of the house’s architecture and the originality and diversity of its ornamentations.   Talleyrand purchased Valençay for the sum total of 1,600,000 francs. According to what the Duchess of Dino is reported to have said, it was subsequent to an order from Bonaparte, First Consul at the time, that his foreign relations minister became the proprietor of “beautiful land”.  The man who was to become Emperor Napoleon a year later helped to finance an operation with the objective of “brilliantly receiving” influential foreigners and the ambassadors of sovereigns with whom he was “contented”.

Collections of furniture, sculptures, paintings and precious objects provide the château of Valençay with the cachet of a residence that has never stopped being inhabited. Silent witnesses to changes of French regimes during the life of Prince de Talleyrand, the multiple styles combine to underline an ambient charm.

After visiting the Château de Valençay, outdoor areas offer standing invitations to stroll, to discover, and to enjoy leisure activities suitable for young and old alike. Animals and plants have always had their place in the Valençay estate, of which the park and gardens cover over 130 acres; they include a French garden, a court of honor, the duchess’  garden with an exceptional view from its terrace, an ornamental pleasure garden and, since 2016, the landscape garden known as la grande perspective ouest.

Not-to-be-missed :  Le jardin d’Antonin, near the deer park and with more than 300 species of aromatic culinary plants in homage to Antonin Carême, Talleyrand’s favorite chef, as well as the Forêt des Princes and its magnificent silvicultural trails.



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