The Domaine de Villarceaux !!

This will be an update of a wonderful off the beaten path site of my belle France. There was a farmer’s market here and my dear late wife Martine was up for it while we lived in Versailles. It was a wonderful experience in a domain or castle property; we came back a couple more times before leaving for Bretagne. I like to tell you a bit more on the  Domaine de Villarceaux. Hope you enjoy this find of my belle France.

This is the Domaine de Villarceaux in the dept 95 of Val d’Oise ,region of Île de France. The Domaine de Villarceaux, is located in the middle of the park or parc naturel régional du Vexin français along the A15 road direction Rouen from Paris, my favorite way to get here while living in Versailles. Somehow I found how to get there by car not easy there is nothing else really, this is deep country.

villarceaux-domaine-castle

A bit of history I like. Well, the main structure here is a castle from the 12-13C.  It was part of the defensive line to Paris from Normandy and on the 16C it becames an agriculture area. By the 17C it houses memorabilia of the love affaires of Louis de Mornay, marquis de Villarceaux, and Ninon de Lenclos. In the 18C Charles-Jean-Baptiste du Tillet, marquis de la Bussière, nephew of the Marquis de Villarceaux, inherits the property. He dismantled it from a feudal look and built the castle we see today.  In 1989, the regional council government of the region of Île-de-France agrees to it’s renovation and maintenance as well as open it to the public.  They signed a leasing bail for 99 years with the Fondation Charles Léopold Mayer. Eventually, it opened to the public in 1990.

You will find in this wonderful property Domaine de Villarceaux are the tour des condamnés  or tour Saint-Nicolas , and the Pavillon de Ninon. These common areas form an enclosure with two other smaller towers or tours still visible. One of the them houses the artisans working there, and the best for the visit me think. They were completely renovated in the 16C. The pavillon de Ninon is a building with nice decorations from the 16C and 17C and it’s open in rare occasions and for small groups, you can ask to see it. The Tour Saint Nicolas and the medieval terraces with medicinal plants is open to visitors. The Parterre sur l’Eau are a rare example of the jardin sur l’eau or garden over water.   The miroir de Ninon 17C a water space in mirror because the castle from high up reflects on the water with a nice cascade.

villarceaux-chateau-manoir-de-ninon-tour-saint-nicolas

And the castle high up or château dit du haut. Done in the 17C , this is the new castle done by the Marquis de la Bussiére. The windows are big with nice views towards the French gardens on the hills of the castle all the way afar. You can see the country side of the Vexin from here too. The Vertugadin from the 18C name from the skirt weared by the women of the times. It gives you a perspective of view from the high terraces to the lake 530 meters or about 1749 feet further down! Statues of the 17C and 18C coming from Rome (palace Altieri) and of Côme (Villa d’Este) are all along the promenade.  The  cour d’Honneur from the 18C; encircled by the common buildings and the coat of arms of the owner as well as a Chapel dedicated to Saint Antoine and Saint Michel. it allows the carriages to arrive on the hills high ground of the castle. There is great view from here too. There are moats on the borders to stop the access without hiding the view like a wall would. The Orangerie 19C with two greenhouses one warm and the other cool to cultivate oranges and exotic fruits . They were conserved in a fridge underground still in the park; and ice was taken from here to mix with the grass and keep for the summer.

villarceaux-gardens-domaine

They organised a nice market there like in the old days which we visited on several occasions .  These are call the European Days of Trades of Art, with artisans in the common building showcasing all kinds of old and new trades. As well as a gourmand market later on in the year.  The official Bergerie de Villarceaux: http://www.bergerie-villarceaux.org/index.php?page=english

Further for biking, walking, and car driving pleasures you can see the brochure and go onto the Parc Naturel Régional du Vexin Français (see post), a wonderful regional park we used to all over and got our provisions from the countryside.  Just contact the Maison du Parc for activities when you are here and guidance. webpage: http://www.pnr-vexin-francais.fr/fr/le-parc/maison-du-parc/

The official Île de France on the Domaine: https://villarceaux.iledefrance.fr/

The Val d’Oise dept 95 tourist office on the Domainehttps://www.valdoise-tourisme.com/fiches/domaine-de-villarceaux/

Now as said not easy to find, this is deep country so will give some directions as worth the detour me think.  How to get there as said the way is by car this is countryside the best in France are found like this. The town of the Domaine de Villarceaux is Chaussy with zip/postal code 95710, By car:

From Paris by the A15 up by Gennevilliers and direction Cergy-Pontoise this same road becomes the N14 and you passed the many town this is also direction Rouen, but exits for Magny-en-Vexin, take the D86 exit towards Hodent / Vernon. From there, follow the signs “Domaine de Villarceaux”. Go through Hodent, then turn left on the D171, then 2 km further, slight turn on the left. Go past the entrance to the castle car park, or continue to the Bergerie at 250 meters further on the right.

From Paris by the A14 / A13 this is the Autoroute de Normandie direction Mantes la Jolie/Rouen. Once on the A13, take Exit 11 towards Mantes-la-Jolie-Centre / Mantes-la-Ville-Centre / Limay / Guerville. Follow direction Beauvais on the D983. At Drocourt, turn left towards Chaussy / Villers-en-Arthies on the D142. After passing Villers, follow the signs “Domaine de Villarceaux” and/or “Ferme de la Bergerie“. Hope it helps!

There you go folks, an off the beaten path of the region of Paris, yes we have countryside just near! The bounties of my belle France and my former region of Île de France. Enjoy the time spent at Domaine de Villaceaux !

And remember, happy travels , good health, and many cheers to all !!!

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