A faceted diamond
Honoré de Balzac spoke of Azay-le-Rideau as a faceted diamond mounted on the river Indre. He certainly knew well about beautiful things and could not have used a better metaphor to qualify this Loire Valley jewel. In 1501, Gilles Berthelot, finance minister of the king, constructed a palace on the banks of river Indre. If its machicolations remind of the Middle Ages, its windows and dormers are typical of the French Renaissance.
The marquis de Biencourt, who have owned the castle all along the 19th century, have brought their personal touch to the monument’s architecture, while preserving the Renaissance style of its well known facades. The inside furnishing of the castle of Azay-le-Rideau reminds the life of the Biencourt family, with its great living room and extraordinary fireplace. The paneling, painted ceilings and curtains recreate the luxury and cozy atmosphere of the family dwelling.
“Mirror, who in this land is fairest of all ?”
The climax of your visit is waiting outside the monument. As you wander in the park, the southern facade of the castle hides a magical surprise. Built on the banks of river Indre, it reflects indeed on the limpid waters of the river, just like in a mirror. The monument’s beautiful symmetry waving on the water is a delight for the eyes. A little further, the English park spreads with its exotic varieties and centenary trees. In the autumn season, when the fire and golden colors of the leaves remind of great north-American forests, the park shows its most beautiful expression.
19 rue Balzac
Tél. : 02 47 45 42 04