This summer I spent three lovely weeks in Orléans with my daughter and granddaughters, ages four and six. During the week, the little girls, who are bilingual in French, attended a Centre Loisirs pour les enfants (see news photos here) and had a marvelous time. Which gave my daughter and I the leisure of exploring nine Loire chateaux within and an hour or so’s driving distance. And enjoying a lovely lunch at either at the chateau itself if offered or in a nearby village.
This is the first of nine posts about those chateau visits. We began with Chateau Villesavin. The Château was built by Jean le Breton who was the Lord of both Villandry and Villesavin, Secretary of Finance under François the First and entrusted by the King with the work of controlling the building and financing of nearby Chambord. There is a wide path through the nearby woods that was the route taken back and forth to Chambord since Villesavin was used as a temporary residence by the overlords while Chambord was being built. The same French and Italian master builders and workmen who built the great Royal Palaces built Villesavin and it has remained almost perfectly untouched for four centuries.
Our photos include the fabulous life-size dioramas chronicling the entire day of a wedding in the Chateau’s Musée du Mariage. Plus the glass-domed arrangements that were a traditional gift to the bride and groom commemorating their nuptials. And the fascinating collection of children’s carts in the carriage house. And, of course, our appetizers at a delightful nearby village restaurant. I think we gobbled down the main course without taking a photo!