Les Jardins Renaissance

1 out of 5 stars1 Star

Rue Nationale,Lieu dit les Coteaux 37190, Azay-le-Rideau, 37190, France
Les Jardins Renaissance
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More about Azay-le-Rideau

Photos

Two Wings Looking SouthTwo Wings Looking South

Château d’Azay-le-Rideau, Exterior, 07/08Château d’Azay-le-Rideau, Exterior, 07/08

Château d’Azay-le-Rideau, Salle de Billard, 07/08Château d’Azay-le-Rideau, Salle de Billard, 07/08

Château d’Azay-le-Rideau, Salon Biencourt, 07/08Château d’Azay-le-Rideau, Salon Biencourt, 07/08

Travel Tips for Azay-le-Rideau

Just Like Home

by Goner

This castle isn't as imposing as others such as Chambord, it's very homelike with padded chairs, warm woods with large adorned stone fireplaces. It was however, only used in the summer months and abandoned during the winter.

Château d’Azay-le-Rideau, Its Rib Vaulting

by von.otter

“Arrived at Azay we separated, my wife preferring to sketch a piece of the chateau, from a point just to the right of the little bridge which spans the moat, while I walked through the rooms. She chose the better part, for although there are a great many historical pictures of importance, the exterior is distinctly better than the interior, good as that is. The exterior is most fascinating, and the water from which the walls rise had, even in this burning year, none of the imperfections which Henry James discovered in it.”
— from “Notes from a Diary, 1892-1895” by Sir Mountstuart E. Grant Duff, GCSI

I do not know how Sir Grant could have been disappointed with the castle’s interior. I found it fascinating.

Although Château d’Azay-le-Rideau is a Renaissance castle, a structural holdover from the Gothic period can be seen throughout its interior; this is rib vaulting.

When two or three barrel vaults intersect they produce a ribbed vault; they are edged with piped masonry that are often carved with decorative patterns.

In this castle, at the terminus of the ribs, where they meet the wall, fantastic creatures, or sometimes angels, delight the eye.

Château d’Azay-le-Rideau, Its Staircase Part II

by von.otter

“Azay-le-Rideau, and elsewhere dotted throughout the district of Touraine, the delightful chateaux of the nobility bear witness to the memorable times when Francis held his court on the banks of the Loire.”
— from “The Story of the Art of Building” 1901 By Percy Leslie Waterhouse

As you climb the castle’s staircase, look up and you will see several someones looking down at you! The ceiling is carved with wonderful portrait medallions of the kings and queens of France.

You will also find on the ceiling the ‘B’ of the Marquis de Biencourt, owner of the château from 1791 to late 19th century.

Château d’Azay-le-Rideau, Its Interiors, Part III

by von.otter

Le Salon Biencourt, Photos #1 to #3
The windows, decorated with 16th and 17th century stained glass, open onto the river and the park, created by the Marquis de Biencourt. The large paintings and royal portraits date from the Valois dynasty, when much of the castle’s construction was completed.

La Salle de Billard, Photos #4 & #5
The Billiard Room is decorated with mid-16th century Flemish tapestries; within their large and luxuriant borders small Biblical scenes are depicted.

Reflections on a Château’s Reflection

by von.otter

“Un diamant taillé à facettes, serti par l’Indre.” (“A faceted diamond set in the Indre.”)
— Honoré de Balzac (1799-1850), his high opinion of Château d’Azay-le-Rideau

What’s in a Name? The oddly named town of Azay-le-Rideau, Azay-the-Curtain, was not always so called. Originally it was called Azay-le-Ridel, which is derived from Hugues Ridel, one of the knights-banneret of Touraine created by King Philippe Auguste to command the road from Tours to Chinon. Later its name evolved into Azay-le-Rideau.

With its turrets and crests reflected in a moat-like lake with water from the River Indre, this castle enchants and dazzles the visitor. During our morning visit in late July we took time to sit on a bench in the shade of the park trees and drink in its beauty.

For a while the town had been known as Azay-le-Brulée, Azay-the-Burned. In 1418, le Dauphin de France — the future Charles VII — escaped Paris to the Loire Valley. Wandering from castle to castle, he passed through Azay-le-Rideau. The town was allied with his enemies, the Burgundians. When le Dauphin arrived, he was jeered by the 350 soldiers defending the fortress which stood on the same spot as the present-day castle. Furious, the king-in-waiting ordered the castle besieged, the entire garrison hanged and the village, as well as the castle, burned to the ground.

The present château was begun in 1515 by Gilles Berthelot, mayor of Tours. Nothing significant has happened nor have famous people visited at Château d’Azay-le-Rideau; it attracts solely on its exquisite beauty. It seems to float on the River Indre.

With a population of 3,100 the town of Azay-le-Rideau is known as a commune, the lowest level of administrative division in the French Republic, within the Indre-et-Loire department in central France. It is quite a charming, sleepy little place that is well worth your time: stroll its streets, browse its shops, and dine in its restaurants.

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