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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
enjoy an hour or so respite by letting them loose in here!
Chateau entrance fee
Full price: 13,00€
Reduced rate: 10,00€
Free audio guides
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. They may have to be brave and invest or find a
rich benefactor like Chambord.
Chateau de Valencay
Accommodation in Valencay
A to Z list