Châteaux et Jardins
Places not to be missed: The best Parks and Gardens in Paris
This month, we are looking beyond the city to discover some of the wonders of the région parisienne (parisian area). If you enjoy exploring beautiful French gardens, the Châteaux d’Ile-de-France are certainly a must do. Of course, we could have suggested Versailles, Fontainebleau et Vaux-le-Vicomte, but these three are very famous! Here is a small selection of some of the lesser known, but just as magnificent, Châteaux that are not far from your doorstep.
Château de Dampierre
Considered a historical monument, the Château de Dampierre is a classic-style Château in the Chevreuse valley. Built at the end of the seventeenth century by Jules Hardouin-Mansart, this impressive estate is located right in the heart of the vast gardens designed by André Le Nôtre.
2 Grande Rue, 78720, Dampierre-en-Yvelines
Château de Saint-Germain-en-Laye
A former place of residence for the Kings of France, this remarkable Château has undergone many changes over the centuries. In 1539, François I had the building restyled with Renaissance architecture, while Henri II and Henri IV saw the Château completely rebuilt from its foundations. Nowadays, the Château is the home to the Museum of National Archaeology.
Place Charles de Gaulle, 78100, Saint-Germain-en-Laye
Château de Breteuil
The Breteuil family are deeply rooted in French history. Built between 1604 and 1610, this Château boasts wax figures of Louis XVI, Marie-Antoinette, Louis XVIII, Léon Gambetta and Marcel Proust. The stunning gardens are the perfect place for a relaxing walk. These grounds are located at the very centre of the natural park and cover more than seventy-five hectares of land.
Château de Breteuil, 78460, Choisel
Château de Courances
Built between 1622 and 1630 by Claude I Gallard, the Château de Courances has undergone many changes over the centuries. Left in a state of neglect during the nineteenth century, it was entirely restored in 1872 by Baron Samuel de Haber, a wealthy Swiss banker seeking a large estate. Today, the Château is still entirely private and is home to four generations of the Ganay family, the current owners.
13 Rue du Château, 91490, Courances
Château de Sceaux
A grand country estate, this Château is unique due to its smaller and less intimidating size. Built for Louis XI in the fifteenth century, the Château was originally saved by the Revolution, but was destroyed at the start of the nineteenth century. In 1828, the Duke of Trévise rebuilt the Château to how it looks today. The grounds were designed by André Le Nôtre and even include an orangery, a lake and a canal. The views from the gardens are breath-taking and span across the entire grounds stretching out to the surrounding landscape.
8 Avenue Claude Perrault, 92330, Sceaux