The Château du Rivau

I took this photo in September while we were on holiday. We were staying near Richelieu, in the Loire Valley south of Chinon.

We saw these signs up everywhere for the “Fete des Citrouilles”. It was nearby and it was a nice sunny Sunday so we went along.

Despite the less than promising concept, it was lovely. Lots of different kinds of squashes, gourds and pumpkins, stalls selling local produce and people in mediaeval costumes, brilliant stuff and lots of photo opportunities.

The château itself is wonderful, a real fairy-tale place.


Here
is a link to their website in English.

Le Rivau is a castle-palace in Lémeré (Indre-et-Loire), in the Touraine region, France. In Rabelais’ Gargantua, it was given to captain Tolmere as a reward for his victories in the Picrocholean Wars.

In reality, in 1429, towards the end of the Hundred Years’ War, before the siege of Orleans, Joan of Arc and her followers came to fetch horses at Le Rivau, already renowned for the quality of its equipage and war horses who were raised there. In 1510 François de Beauvau, captain of King Francis I of France, constructed the monumental stables, in the outbuildings’ courtyard, that supplied royal stallions.

Since 1992, the new owners have undertaken a huge renovation campaign to prevent the decay of the castle, stable, and winery. This ensemble is quite exceptional in the region and has been classified as a Monument historique since 1918 by the French Ministry of Culture.

The 12 gardens of Le Rivau are designated a Jardin Remarquable (by a French organisation that recognises remarkable gardens). They are inspired by fairy tales and legends and take the visitors on a beautiful and fantastical journey. The fairytale gardens are also a treat for rose lovers and gardeners, as they display a collection of more than 300 roses from famous rose breeders such as André Eve or David Austin.

Le Rivau is also famous for the contemporary sculptures that are displayed around the gardens, with pieces by artists such as Fabien Verschaere, Cat Loray, Jerôme Basserode, Frans Krajcberg and Philippe Ramette.

Twelve recently designed gardens evoke the medieval art of gardening, while temporary and permanent exhibits display contemporary art.

(thanks to Wikipedia)

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