The Chateau at Valencay, built in 1540 by Jacuqes d’Estampes to show of his new found wealth (he married money!), is
well worth a visit. Although geographically it
is part of the province of Berry, its style bears heavy comparisons
with the best of the Loire Valley Renaissance chateaux and as such
it is normally included in many of the Chateaux tour packages.
Inside the chateau is
furnished with elaborately embroidered chairs, ornate tables,delicate chandeliers, fussy clocks, Chinese vases, with a
touch of Egyptian style thrown in for good measure.
is as it would have been for its most illustrious owner the Prince
de Tallyrand, Napoleon’s foreign minister, to do his lavish
entertaining of his many guests and mistresses.
has had a number of owners throughout the centuries, including a
Scottish banker (John Law) but none so memorable as de Tallyrand, to
whom there is a museum dedicated within the grounds.
said of the gardens of the chateau that “No king has a more
picturesque park” and they are indeed splendid.
There is a child’s
play area and labyrinth, though the clues are in French, within the
In the near future, Valencay plans an
'Enchanted Forest' attraction with an exciting playground, huge
swings and slides, strange plants and unusual animals.
During World War II, Valençay was not occupied by German forces, since the then Duc de
Valençay was also Prince of Sagan, a neutral principality in Eastern
Europe. Thanks to this quirk of fortune the Château provided a
refuge for some of the Louvre's priceless artworks, such as the
Venus de Milo and the Winged Victory.
There is also a
car museum, moved to it's
new location a mile up the road from the main gates of the
chateau, which includes a good selection of vehicles
from the Ford model 'T' to a Formula One racing
car. You will be through it before you know it but if you
have made the effort to come and view the delightful chateau
you may as well take the walk along the road--it may even
distract the kids--though not for long.
the year there are some 'costumed' re-enactments plus you
can now join in by dressing jn period costume - if you are
into that sort of thing!
Website of Chateau de Valencay.
Chateau de Valencay on region
Blogpost on chateau Valencay.
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