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Castle Villandry is one of the selected castles of the Loire and is included in the UNESCO World Heritage List. The castle is known for its lush gardens, an ornamental vegetable garden, a pond and a towering donjon above them. Villandry is the last of the large castles built in the Loire Valley during the Renaissance.
The castle is located near the Loire River, next to an ancient building that stood here. In 1189, when a fortified fortress was located here, Philip-Augustus met with Henry II Plantagent. Their conversation took place in the southwestern tower and ended with the conclusion of peace at Azay-le-Rideau. After several centuries, the ownership passed to Jean Le Breton, who served as secretary of state Francis I. He was entrusted with the construction of the castles of Chambord and Fontainebleau. He decided to build his own castle, different from medieval castles in a festive and elegant look.
In order to build the castle, Le Breton demolished the old fortress. From it remained the foundation and the main tower, which still appear before visitors in their original form. Construction of a new building began in 1536.
Images of the coat of arms of Jean Le Breton are still preserved on the walls of the keep. The castle is partly surrounded by a moat and the grounds are decorated with gardens. The Italian-style gardens are huge and are spread over three levels. The topmost – terrace planted with fruit trees, middle – the area is located on the ground floor level, the lower level is occupied by a decorative garden. This vegetable garden offers views of the village and the towering bell tower. The presence of gardens makes fortress walls unnecessary and seems to reduce the volume of buildings. Villandry Gardens – an example of French park art.
The fact that the gardens are arranged this way is due to historical conditions. In the 16th century, botanical gardens were created specifically to plant samples of unknown plants from America and other countries. The appearance of the Villandry Gardens dates back to this period.
The gardens were redesigned and rebuilt in the 20th century thanks to the efforts of Dr. Joachim Carvallo. In some areas, plantings of cabbage, carrots, beets, lettuce, interspersed with fruit trees appeared. There are also fountains in the gardens, which were originally intended for watering, and now they also perform a decorative function.
In 1574, the castle became the property of the Marquis de Castellan, who changed the appearance of the castle: arches and balconies appeared, walls were built in place of the colonnades.
In 1906, Dr. Carvallo decided to return the castle to its original appearance: the arcades and windows were rebuilt. In addition to the gardens, the stairs, the dining room and the art gallery inside the castle are of interest.
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Topic: Castle Villandry in France, Sicily resort.