From the aristocratic gardens of the Roman and Byzantine Empires, to the meditative cloister gardens of Medieval monasteries, Europe has a long and beautiful history of gardening. The elaborate castle gardens you see today are rooted in the French and Italian Renaissance, peaking with the gardens of Loius XIV at Versailles. Here are our top six castle gardens of Europe:
1. Château de Villandry, France
is one of the great chateaux built on the banks of the Loire during the Renaissance. Ever since the construction of the Chateau of Villandry in 1532, outstanding gardens have embellished the building, and have evolved over time. During the Renaissance, there was a decorative kitchen garden at close proximity to the chateau. In the 18th century, the grounds were enlarged and enriched with a formal garden, then an ornamental lake in the shape of a Louis XV mirror. Finally, when Joachim Carvallo acquired the estate in the early 1900's, he devoted himself to the restoration of the Grand Renaissance Garden. He and his ancestors have tended and expanded the grounds to this day. Château de Villandry
2. Frederiksborg Castle, Denmark
Built in the early 17th century, this stunning Renaissance castle sits on three lake islets in Hillerød, just north of Copenhagen. The castle complex is known for its exquisite gardens and for housing the Danish Museum of National History. Frederiksborg Castle
3. Château de Vaux-le-Vicomte, Maincy, France
This baroque château has been widely recognized as the precursor to the gardens of Versailles. The collaboration of renowned landscape architects André le Nôtre and Louis le Vau marked the beginning of the classic Louis XIV style, filled with water features, gravel walks, and curlicue parterres. The stunning Christmas displays here are not to be missed! Château de Vaux-le-Vicomte
4. Cliveden House, England
Cliveden House in the Berkshire countryside, about an hour from London, is known as the “Versailles of the United Kingdom.” This 350-year-old castle estate was conceived by the Second Duke of Buckingham, and includes 376 acres of gardens, complete with a pool, garden maze, and a parterre garden overlooking the River Thames. Cliveden House
5. Castel Gandolfo, Italy
Located less than an hour from Rome, Castel Gandolfo is the pope’s summer palace and has only recently been opened to the public. Perched above the shore of Lake Albano, the Barberini Gardens section of the 55-hectare property with its immense parterres and shady holm oak parks was built into the first-century AD ruins of Emperor Domitian’s country residence. Castel Gandolfo
6. Isola del Garda, Italy
Isola del Garda is the largest island on Lake Garda in Lombardy, Italy. The small island is home to the Venetian neogothic Villa Borghese Cavazza, and its formal Italian garden with stunning views everywhere you look. Isola del Garda
We hope you enjoyed this tour of our favorite European Castle Gardens. We would be pleased to offer you a custom-tailored, bespoke European itinerary, with luxury Villa or Hotel accommodations and exclusive VIP access to everything you wish to see.
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