Last of the grand Loire châteaux to be built during the Renaissance, the Château de Villandry is a magnificent structure that has evolved over the centuries amidst spectacular greenery.  It was built starting in 1532 under the impetus of Jean Le Breton, finance minister of François I. Based on the experience he had acquired in  Chambord, the monarch decided to have erected a sumptuous monument characterized by distinctive sobriety and dignified elegance. As for Le Breton, he decided to privilege a medieval heritage by conserving the massive keep that still proudly overlooks the three 16th-century main buildings with their French Renaissance style. From atop the tower terrace, visitors will enjoy a superb panoramic view, appreciate the explosive colors of the gardens and try to figure out the message drawn on the plants of the “gardens of love”.

As early as the 16th century, in accordance with the wishes of the king’s finance minister, Villandry was environed by remarkable greenery. Over the centuries, one owner after another strove to adapt the estate gardens to prevailing tastes.  This was particularly the case with the Marquis of Castellane, who acquired the Villandry seigneury in 1754. Not only did this noted ambassador of King Louis XV design French-style gardens, but he also transfigured the château, inside as well as outside.

Profoundly influenced by neoclassicism, he integrated a spectacular Louis XV staircase and rearranged the dining room with Provencal tones rendering it unique. Totally invested in his alterations of a handsome estate, Michel-Ange Count of de Castellane also modified the exterior appearance of the château, once again taking into account the tastes of the times.

The Marquis’ architectural upheaval wound up by denaturing what had originally been a Renaissance monument. After having assumed ownership in 1906, Doctor Joachim Carvallo and his wife Anne Coleman attempted to give back to the château at least a semblance of its original aspect, and they started with the facades.

Between 1908 and 1918, the English-style gardens gave way to a sumptuous, typically French Renaissance garden in accord with the monument. Today their great-grandson is the person endeavoring to upgrade an unusual heritage site.

The Château de Villandry is at once a valuable historic monument and an animated site where flora reign supreme. Constantly changing, each year the majestic gardens are the theater of numerous activities showcasing the heterogeneity of the different spaces: the vegetable gardens, the woods, the ornamental gardens, the aquatic garden, the Sun garden, the labyrinth and the medicinal garden all suffuse the atmosphere that has forged the identity of the château of Villandry.



Opening time


Further information