Château de Villandry
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The lands where an ancient fortress once stood were known as Columbine until the 17th century. They were acquired in the early 16th century by Jean Le Breton, France's Controller-General for War under King Francis I, and a new château was constructed around the original 14th-century keep where King Philip II of France once met Richard I of England to discuss peace.
The château remained in the Le Breton family for more than two centuries until it was acquired by the Marquis de Castellane. During the French Revolution the property was confiscated and in the early 19th century, Emperor Napoleon acquired it for his brother Jérôme Bonaparte.
In 1906, Joachim Carvallo purchased the property and poured an enormous amount of time, money and devotion into repairing it and creating extremely beautiful gardens. Its famous Renaissance gardens include a water garden, ornamental flower gardens, and vegetable gardens. The gardens are laid out in formal patterns created with low box hedges. In 1934, Château de Villandry was designated a Monument historique. Like all the other châteaux of the Loire Valley, it is a World Heritage Site.
- Garrett, Martin (2010), The Loire: a Cultural History, Oxford University Press, p. xxii, ISBN 9780199768394