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Chateau de Villandrytourist information guide
Address: Château de Villandry, Villandry, 37150
Tel: +33 (0)2 47 50 02 09
Opening Times: Feb-mid Nov and Xmas hols daily, gardens Mar-Oct | Admission Charge
Chateau de Villandry is probably better known for its formal gardens which occupy eight full time gardeners that tend to its five hectares or so. There are over 1200 lime trees, grape vines galore and over 50 kms of box hedge. Dr Joachim Carvallo was the man first responsible for the layout and design of these ornate Renaissance gardens and his work is continued today by his grandson. Each plant or tree comes with a short explanation which details its history and symbolic meaning; marrows being chosen for fertility.
The chateau itself is not quite so impressive (compared to the monster chateaux say of Blois or Chenonceau). It was completed in 1536 and is considered the last of the major Renaissance chateaux to be built in the area. However, it does harbour some gems such as the 13th-century Moorish mosque ceiling. You may also want to climb the tower to muse on the splendour of the gardens that fan out below.
Getting Here: Villandry lies 11km northeast of Azay-le-Rideau
and 17km southwest of Tours but is not that easy to get to. Taxi
is best unless you want to grapple with the train that stops in Savonnière.
Trains back to Tours in the evening are direct.