The Loire Valley Castle of Le Rivau, its royal stables and its 14 fairytales gardens is located in the middle of the Loire Valley, close to Chenonceau, Chambord, Villandry and Chinon, in France.
It is an exceptional medieval treasure, immortalized by Joan of Arc and Rabelais. Le Rivau Castle seems to have come out of a fairytale. It has been restored with passion and taste. Each garden is based on different stories and bring a lot of surprises for the whole family.
Le Rivau Castle is known for its rich medieval past. The castle is intimately attached to Beauvau's family . During the 13th century , the Beauvau's family served the Kings of France and Pierre de Beauvau helped Charles the 7 escape Paris to Chinon..
The mysterious lady of Le Rivau, named Anne de Fontenay brought « the Rivau » as a dowry for her marriage with Pierre de Beauvau In 1438.
In 1442, Pierre de Beauvau, prime minister to King Charles VII, fortified the castle by constructing the keep and the moat. In 1454, Isabeau de Beauvau to Jean II de Bourbon married thus the Beauvau became allied to the royal family. In the 17 th century, Cardinal Richelieu that destroyed all the castle or the region to construct the city of Richelieu, spared Le Rivau because his sister Françoise was married to Jean de Beauvau, lord of Rivau. Le Rivau remained in the family's possession for more than 247 years.
Several medieval writers mentioned the beauty of Le Rivau, and in Rabelais' book Gargantua (1556), the giant Gargantua gives Le Rivau as a reward to his faithful Captain Tolmere.
After the Beauvau's family, the marquis Michel-Ange de Castellane , the lord of Villandry, acquired Le Rivau In 1768 until 1796. In 1918, Alphonse de Moncel de Perrin , a famous sculptor who worked on the ornementation of the « Petit-Palais » in Paris, managed to have Le Rivau Castle listed among the « Historical Monuments ». The painter Pierre-Laurent Brenot lived at Le Rivau from 1960 to 1992. At the end of the 20th century , in 1992, Eric and Patricia Laigneau fell in love of Le Rivau and decided to acquire it. Le Rivau found once again its original splendour after many years of a restoration campaign . Today the Castle of Rivau seems to have come out of a wonderful land.
See More Pictures of the outside and inside of this castle right here.
Fairytale Garden of Le Rivau :
Le Rivau has 14 fairytale gardens that were inspired by the tales and the enchanting legends of literature. The gardens of Le Rivau have received the labels "Remarkable Garden". The garden are famous for their 450 fragrant rose collection (conservatory of the fragrant rose) and display a unique in France contemporary sculpture park with famous artist such as : Raynaud, Lilian Bourgeat, Ramette, Jerome Basserode...
Web site : http://www.loire-castle-rivau.com/
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Le Rivau Stables
From medieval stables to exceptional royal stables...
In 1429, before the siege of Orleans, Joan of Arc and her followers came to Le Rivau castle, to fetch horses at Le Rivau stables to fight against English domination. Le Rivau was already known as a place for the quality of its « war horse » breeding.
During the Renaissance, François de Beauvau, decided to build the monumental stables of Le Rivau , on the same site of the wooden stables that existed during the Hundred Years War. But in 1524, François Beauvau died during the War of Romagne. Around 1550, his heir, Gabriel Beauvau finished building the amazing stables that we see today, which were directly inspired by an Italian architecture.
In the 16th century, the medieval stables of Le Rivau were completely re-modelled. The royal stables of Le Rivau are remarkable because they are both decorative and functional. They are unique in Loire Valley and a first in equestrian architecture. As Pascal Lievaux puts it in his remarkable work « The Stables of the French Chateaux » (published by Patrimoine, 2005) « The stables at le Rivau are the most beautiful example of the architectural development of equestrian buildings ».
The monumental stables in the outbuildings have being restored back to their original design.
Each year in July, Le Rivau organises a horse jousting tournament that celebrates the tournament that took place in the 15th century.
This is a real medieval joust for the whole family.