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Villandry, Loire Valley

 Château Villandry - The Gardens

Villandry was one of the last of the very big châteaux built in the Loire Valley during the Renaissance. It was built by Jean le Breton, one of François I's finance ministers, and was completed around 1536. Villandry stayed in le Breton's family until 1754. Villandry was in a very poor state and about to be demolished when in 1906 it was bought by Dr Joachim Carvallo, a brilliant Spanish scientist, who gave up his career to devote himself to Villandry. His family still own the chateau.

Villandry houses some interesting and very valuable antiquities and furnishings, but it's probably best known for the Italian Renaissance-style gardens, which were created by Dr Carvallo. As well as being very ornate and decorative, the gardens produce fruit, vegetables and herbs which are sold locally to raise funds for the maintenance of the châteaux.

View of the vegetable garden at Villandry

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