Friday, October 19, 2018

Chateau Langais, a Lovely Lunch and Chateau Villandry Fall 2018

Gentle friends, the Chateaux are Langais (pronounced Lawn-jay) and Villandry - and -
a really lovely, delicious lunch!!

... looking up the main street, in all villages big or small the roads are lined with plants and flowers most of the time in stationary pots and panters but her in Langais they are raised planters and are a bit curved, it's to get cars to slow down and not speed through these small narrow streets... they are very decorative and really brighten up the drabbest tiny "bau village"...

... the original chateau Langais was built in the 990's but was destroyed during the 100 years war.  what is left of that keep and tower is now a ruin in the gardens behind this magnificent place.  This "new" Chateau Langais was built about 1465 during the reign of King Louis XI...

... this is an overview map that shows the current and original Chateau... now on with the tour...

... the Salon des Mille Fleurs, named for the floral tapestries...


... the Salle de la Devise...


... the Salle du Banquet... 


... Chamber de Parament..


... Salle du Mariage... and one of the more important episodes in Langais' history was the marriage of  Duchess Anne of Brittany to King Charles VIII on December 6, 1491, that made permanent the union of Brittany and France...
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Within the Chateau there are a few rooms called the "Cabinet d'art Sacre ... and there are some really super pieces...

... this piece shows from L to R... Saint Bernadine de Sienne, Sainte Catherine d'Alexandrie and Saint Louis d'Anjou from the Spanish school of art...



... this Reliquary Chase, France 13th century, the shrine contained the relics of an unknown saint.  On the gabled roof appear the Wise and Foolish virgins from the New Testament...


... Virgin and Infant, 13th century, Austria

... this large room, The Salle des Preux, or Hall of the Brave,  has a series of tapestries representing the "Nine Worthies"... it was very dimly lit so the pictures are not as good as they could be...







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 a really big stone staircase that we climbed up to walk along the ramparts...




... looking out over the city from the ramparts...

back into the chateau and the last few rooms... Chambre des Carreaux Verts...

... this last room is dedicated to the renaissance and has this fresco of the nativity, created by Bernardino Luini, a painter greatly influenced by da Vinci. The piece is dated April 17, 1522.  It comes from the chapel in Locarno on Lake Major.  Saint Francis and Saint Elizabeth of Hungary flank the Madonna and Child.  St Joseph stands to the right, leaning on a staff.

... also in the room is this super tapestry ... notice the floor... now out to the gardens...

... it was a hot sunny day and the gardens were a nice quiet break...
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... on the left the restaurant where we had our delicious lunch after touring the Chateau...  the restaurant is called Au Coin des Halles (translates to "Corner of the Covered Market")... it is a Michelin restaurant and well deserved!!

... here is our party being seated...


... the menu...


... they brought some tasty bread and we ordered some delicious wine...

... my starter was, of course, some foie gras...

...My main dish was the medallions of beef and couscous.... delicious!!

... and with it came this personal bowl of some of the best potatoes I've ever had... I do love potatoes, but these were super delish and I haven't a clue how they did it!!

... and for dessert... I got the Millefeuille allumette a la vanille bourbon & mascarpone... what sold me on this one, in particular, was the word "Bourbon"... it was totally crunchy and really tasty!!
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After lunch, we headed for Villandry...

... this map sort of shows the area we were visiting, Le Puy is just a bit south of Saumur so we were well centered for the western end of the Loire valley...

... this wonderful place was once just a 14th century keep that was acquired in the early 16th-century by Jean le Breton and a new Chateau was built around that earlier keep.  This chateau remained in the le Breton family for 200+ years when it was acquired by the Marquis de Castellane.  In the early 19th century Napoleon bought it for his brother Jarome and it stayed in the Bonaparte family for about 100 years.  In 1906, Joachim Carvallo purchased the property and poured an enormous amount of time, money and devotion into repairing it and restoring the Chateau and the extremely beautiful gardens.  It is his descendants that still own and maintain this lovely property  The grardens include an ornamental flower, vegetable and water gardens.  In 1934 Chateau de Villandry was designated a Monument Historique and like the rest of the Chateaux of the Loire Valley, it is a Wolrd History Site.

... the inner Court of Honor...

... one of the many small drawing rooms...

... looking out onto the gardens...

... this room is styled to be reminiscent of the early 19th century...

... although this picture really doesn't show it the dining room is a really big room and is really pretty...

... the kitchen...

... the stair hall...


"Nativity" O/W by Lorenzo de Avila, 16th century

... one of the more interesting things about this Chateau is the enormous collection of religious art  and changing galleries that the family has collected and has put on view

...this is the oriental drawing room is notable for the Hispano-Moorish ceiling, once part of the Maqueda ducal palace built in Toledo in the 15th century.  The palace was dismantled in 1905 and Joachim Carvallo bought one of the four ceilings - this one from the La Martina drawing room.  The other three are currently housed at the National Archaeological Museum in Madrid, the V& A Museum in London and right here in SF at the Legion of Honor Fine Arts Museum.

It took a year to reassemble the 3600 pieces of polychromed wood ceiling.  The paintings displayed below the ceiling depict four scene of an "Ottoman gateway" (now Turkey).  They are a reminder of the Marquis de Castellane's diplomatic career as French ambassador to the Sultan under Louis XV.  These paintings belonged to the Marquis so it can be assumed that they were at Villandry between 1754 and 1791.
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... there were numerous bedrooms that you get to see...

... isn't this a pretty recessed bed and notice to the right the covered bathtub...

.... I think this is a really beautiful room, the paint color, floor and fabric .... just perfect!!

...one of the many staircases looking all the way down to the hall...

... all of the bedrooms have wonderful view s of the gardens...

... another garden view...

... this back room has a great portrait of Philip III - O/C and is from the 17th century, the tapestry was made in France in the 16th century and depicts the "Filed of the Cloth of Gold that took place in 1520 between Francois I and Henry VIII in Flanders...

... from the parapets looking onto the gardens...





... these gardens are immense and have hugs avenues of clipped trees...



... some of the beautiful water features...




... these are the vegetable gardens... and they are just a pretty as the flower gardens...

... there are also lots of grape arbors and since it was fall the grapes were full and ripe...


... and yes, I did try both the purple and green grapes and yes, they were very sweet and a nice treat while walking around...



...one of the lovely tea roses...

... I'll wrap up this post with a shot of the pumpkins ready for Hallowe'en!!
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There you go sports fans, a really long and photo-filled post...
thanks for stopping by do stop again!!

Take care,
edgar