Château du Rivau
Fortified in 1445 by the des Beauvau family, this castle has preserved its defensive paraphernalia. It is surrounded by 15 and 16C buildings among which a Renaissance fountain. Visited by Joan of Arc and immortalized by Rabelais, it houses 16C frescoes and a collection of attires. The twelve gardens devoted to medieval poetics such as Gargantua's kitchen garden or the loving wood are positively enchanting. Activities: riddle course, Fairies and imps fair (July) and pumpkin festival (September).
The gardens :
On 12 acres, the sensitively re-created garden, are inspired by 15th and 16th-century illuminated manuscripts. Traditional combined with modern techniques provide a joyful experience of Nature and a treat for all the senses.
The checkerboard of the secret garden is resplendent in May-June with a collection of apothecary roses. Climbing old roses shelter the tunnel arbour.
The delightful border of perennials has dazzingly brilliant colours in June-July.
The flowery meadow flourishes in July with the nostalgic charm of field poppies and cornflowers.
The knot garden is scented with santolina and lavender, during August.
The huge vegetables of Gargantua' potager are ready to be eaten in August.
The box walk allows visitors to embrace the terraced view over the whole site.
The orchard of Paradise shows its collection of ancient fruit trees.
The enchanted forest with its various trees, and the Cassinina brings shady retreats and benches to sit and contemplate during the hot days of summer.
A display of old vines enlights the September days.
Fall blazes up in the woods at Le Rivau.
Rustic wooden arbours, collection of hollyhocks, peonies, Irises combine with the giant sculptures imagined by Basserode in the running forest.
But reality blends with the imagination here, at Le Rivau. The plants are perennials, shrubs and trees, but also vegetables and agricultural species. Le Rivau is dedicated to preservation of indigenous and historical plants, protection of local fauna, and saving of the rural environment.
Château du Rivau website