The Château du Rivau of Lémeré, the gardens!!!

I am on my road warrior mode again, and again in the beautiful Centre Val de Loire region with many visits. These are all firsts amazing abundance of marvelous places to see in my belle France. I finally found me a castle that was open, and wow!! first time here and what a find! This is in the town of Lémeré to see the Château du Rivau. I will use this post to tell you about the gardens and exteriors and another post for the interiors ,therefore some or most of the text will be the same. Hope you enjoy the posts as I.

Lémeré chateau du Rivau front entr pont levis nov22

The Château du Rivau is a seigniorial fortress whose first foundations date back to the 13C. Located in the town of Lémeré in the department of Indre-et-Loire 37, Centre Val de Loire region, The town is 14 km from Chinon, 9 km from Île Bouchard and about 327 km from my house.

Lémeré chateau du Rivau inside courtyard nov22

In the 13C, Le Rivau was a stronghold , and was fortified in the 15C and then humanized during the Renaissance. It is both an impregnable fortress and a pleasant place to live. The Gothic windows of the facade of the castle were enlarged and decorated with carvings. The forecourt was endowed with prestigious stables. In the 17C, the buildings south of the forecourt were rebuilt and covered with hollow tiles because the low slope of the roofs did not allow the laying of slate, which requires a steep slope. In the 18C, there was no modernization of the castle, but the garden terraces of Le Rivau were surrounded by walls. The castle became a wheat storage place and forgot its splendor of yesteryear.

Lémeré chateau du Rivau tower from courtyard jardin secret nov22

Le Rivau is renowned for its stables from the 15C, when these were still only made of wood. One of the illustrious characters in it is Joan of Arc. After having recognized the Dauphin in Chinon in 1427, she will criss-cross France to join various seats. Knowing her reputation for her steeds, Joan of Arc will stop at Rivau and come to get fighting horses in 1429 before joining the siege of Orléans. There is a wonderful historical laser presentation in the stables!

Lémeré chateau du Rivau gardens restaurant nov22

Lémeré chateau du Rivau back front entr bdlg nov22

Lémeré chateau du Rivau back from garden nov22

From 1438, the Rivau was given as a dowry to Pierre de Beauvau, first chamberlain of the Dauphin Charles VII. He obtained the authorization of King Charles VII to have the castle fortified, thanks to his feats of arms. The Rivau fortified house thus became a fortified castle in the 15C. Reconstruction work began in 1443 In 1510, François de Beauvau, lord of Rivau and captain of François I, undertook to build monumental stables which would provide his stallions to the king. He died at the battle of Romagna alongside Bayard in 1524. His successor, Gabriel de Beauvau decided, around 1550, to erect a very innovative building, influenced by the buildings that the great lords had discovered while accompanying the King to the Italian campaigns. From 1631, Le Rivau was spared by Cardinal Richelieu who wanted to dismantle all the castles near the present town of Richelieu in order to recover the stones that would be used to build his town ,just 10 km from the Rivau. His sister Françoise Duplessis being married to Jean de Beauvau, lord of the place, the Rivau escaped the dismantling suffered by the neighboring castles.

His descendant Jacques de Beauvau, marshal of the camps and armies of King Louis XIV left the Château du Rivau to go to the court of the Sun King. In 1664, he obtained the erection of the land of Beauvau as a marquisate. His cousin, René, was adviser to the King. After the sale of the castle, the Beauvau left Touraine, entered the service of the King of Poland, Duke of Lorraine and became Princes of Lorraine., For two centuries, different owners followed one another: artists, marquises, etc. From the 19C, Le Rivau remained uninhabited and fell into oblivion. The painter and poster designer Pierre-Laurent Brenot became the owner of the château in February 1961 and lived there until it was sold to the current owners, Éric and Patricia Laigneau, in December 1992. They immediately began the restoration work necessary to restore the castle, its outbuildings and the gardens. In 2000, the site was opened to the public.

The écuries du Rivau or Rivau stables are the finest example of the evolution of the architectural treatment of equestrian buildings. Until then, castle stables were purely utilitarian and devoid of ornamental character. The specificity of Rivau is that for the first time in the history of equestrian architecture, stables were designed by an architect who developed an innovative style. The stables, shaped in L, are inspired by the architecture of the Second Renaissance. The Rivau stables, arranged in an L, housed around thirty horses on the ground floor, probably mares on one side and stallions on the other. The floor, served by a staircase built into the thickness of the walls, served as storage and housed the grooms. The horses lined up along the opposite wall, were tied to rings without stall separation. Feeders carved into the limestone are placed against the walls.There is a wonderful laser show presentation here not to miss! 

Lémeré chateau du Rivau stables extension to entr nov22

Lémeré chateau du Rivau stables chevalier on horse nov22

Lémeré chateau du Rivau stables laser show on history region et castle on wall nov22

Among the buildings founded by the commons, the tithe barn and the wine press were important places in the Middle Ages for the village community who lived on the lands of the lord. The Jardins de contes de fées or gardens of fairy tales ,Indeed, the 14 gardens of the Château du Rivau evoke a marvelous and fantastic world for the greatest pleasure of the visitors. The 14 gardens are inspired by tales and legendary stories: The Lavender Parterres, The Vegetable Garden of Gargantua, Petit Poucet’s garden,La Cassinina,Le bois Amoureux,Scent alley,Garden of Love Philtres,Garden of Princess Rapunzel,Secret garden,Alice’s labyrinth,The enchanted forest,The Orchard of Paradise ,The truffle ,and The alley of the fairies The vegetable garden of Gargantua ; half-moon of the vegetable garden of Gargantua presents vegetables with pantagruelian development planted on a raised chestnut plessis Le Rivau wanted to make its gardens the setting of an open-air museum of contemporary art. Thus, several artists have come to the castle to create permanent works. And many more to numerous to mention with many artwork all around it. A must.

Lémeré chateau du Rivau gardens fountain carrousel nov22

Lémeré chateau du Rivau gardens flower pond et fountain nov22

Other thing to see here is the Saint-Hilaire Church dates from the 12C. The bell tower, built in the 15C, is made up, at its base, of a square tower supported by buttresses at the corners, and ends in an octagonal spire.

The official Château du Rivau:

The Touraine Loire Valley tourist office on Rivau :

The town of Lémeré on its heritage :

There you go folks, another dandy in my belle France and on the Centre Val de Loire region of the valley of the kings of France! The Château du Rivau is another must and glad we found it, we will be back, eventually. Again, hope you have enjoy the post as I.

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

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