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 Chateau de Valencay in the Loire Valley

Chateau de Valencay France

The Chateau at Valencay, built in 1540 by Jacuqes d’Estampes to show of his new found wealth (he married money!), is worth a visit. Although geographically it is in the department  of Indre, 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.

drawing room at Chateau de Valencay France

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.

tower room at  Chateau de Valencay France

It 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.

 games room at Chateau de Valencay France

 dining room at Chateau de Valencay France

kitchen at Chateau de Valencay France

You get the chance to view the cellars of the chateau where they have to tried to introduce a bit of modernity with a visual slide show presentation.

wine cellar at Chateau de Valencay France

slide show in wine cellar at Chateau de Valencay France

It 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.

portrait of de Tallyrand at chateau de Valencay

George Sand said of the gardens of the chateau that “No king has a more picturesque park” and we are sure at one time they would have been quite splendid but although the fountain courtyard and gardens in front of the chateau are lovely other gardens have not had the upkeep they probably demanded. This is probably a financial constraint put upon them by visitor numbers.

view from Chateau de Valencay of the gardens

steps leading to the rear gardens at Chateau de Valencay

the fountain at Chateau de Valencay

front elevation of  Chateau de Valencay

wing and corner tower of Chateau de Valencay

To keep the children amused there is a play-park, small animal farm and what is claimed to be the largest maze in France (made up rather unimaginatively by fence panels) where they can get involved in a treasure hunt following the legend of Napoleon Bonaparte.

You may enjoy an hour or so respite by letting them loose in here!

Chateau entrance fee

Full price: 13,00

Reduced rate: 10,00

Children: 4,50

Free audio guides included

 

You can hire a golf buggy for 13 to explore the grounds if you wish.

 

Our experience? We had fond memories of our first visit many years ago so decided to revisit the chateau in 2016. On this occasion we felt that although externally stunning some of the interior and part of the gardens felt a little tired and when you consider Chateau Villandry and gardens can be visited for a few euros less, the entrance fee seemed a little pricy, though as we have said it is all about visitor numbers. However if you are touring the area, which is beautiful, then certainly worth a visit

 

Official website: Chateau de Valencay

 

Accommodation  in Valencay

 

 

 

 

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"Author: Jim Craig"