The Chateau du Rivau
On the second day of your tour, in the afternoon, we will visit the Chateau du Rivau and its gardens.
The Chateau du Rivau is a fantastic example of a fortified French castle. This is thanks to its imposing keep, 13th century style square layout, protective drawbridge, moat and glorious gardens.
Chateau du Rivau was built in the mid-15th century for the Beauvau family, an ancient aristocratic family from Anjou closely linked to French royalty of the period. The Beauvau were a warrior family and their castle was provided with magnificent stables where war horses were reared. One story has it that Joan of Arc came this way to collect horses on her famed Loire campaign in 1429. But she would not have seen the refined 16th century buildings that stand today. Only the buildings classified as stables that Francois de Beauvau constructed in 1510 and which supplied the royal stallions.
In the 19th century Le Riveau became a grain shed and entered into a long sleep as private property. The saving of Le Riveau started in 1993. The restoration was awarded the Grand Prize of the American Friends of French Heritage and the Demure Historique Grand Prix.
The Chateau du Rivau and it’s Fairy Tale Gardens.
The gardens of the Riveau were created from the castle’s archives. The gardens are reminiscent of the engravings of the Middle Ages and fairytales. The French ministry of culture classified Le Riveau a “Jardin Remarquable”. It is also classified as a “French Conservatory of fragrant roses”. It contains some 450 species of fragrant roses listed by the French Conservatory of Specialised Varieties Collections and Conservatory of Old Regional Vegetables.
Created by Patricia Laigneau (Landscape School of Versailles) over more than 20 years, the Rivau gardens are contemporary gardens that evolve with the seasons. Each evokes a fairytale and each of them is inspired by a medieval legend. The 14 Rivau gardens surprise the visitor and allow them to discover the unique associations with plants.