Saturday, 02 November 2013 00:00

Chateau in the Loire Valley | Photographs

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Chateau de la Motte HenryDid you ever dream of living in an enthralling castle? I did, as a child it was my greatest fantasy. But I knew that they only existed in the world of fantasy and that is how I always imagined them. Unreal and part of a fairy tale! For me castles were only a part of children stories and travel magazines that were only meant for exotic travelers.

Then once upon a time, on a sunny and beautiful morning of 18th October 2013, an opportunity made its way to me and it hit me with a powerful reality that my dream could actually come true.

Will you be interested in buying this wonderland? Seriously? Give it a thought! What will you do if you were told that you can have the keys of Oak Brook present in Illinois in the very beginning of 2014?

The Story behind the Enchanting Chateau

In the year 1180, not much later than the wedding of Henry ll Plantagenet to Eleanor in the year 1153, the La Motte Henry, a feudal motte was built in this area. Motte refers to a ditch, bordering a castle, town or a fort, that is usually filled with water and its purpose is to provide safety in case of an attack. From 1180 onwards up until 1201, this area was controlled by Henry ll. In 1202 French King Philippe recovered and reclaimed this area of the land which marked the start of a 100 year long war. This is the reason why the regions of Mayenne and Loire are loaded with the history of Plantagenet period. The Motte, that exist today, though without its tower is in an ideal state for conservation and is also a recognized Monument Historique situated in France.

Marquis D’Argouges, an engineer and a reputable architect, decided that he wanted to construct the Enchanting Chateau De La Motte of Henry on this historical site. He was enchanted by the site because of its picturesque countryside, grand and majestic trees, and natural water sources. He built the chateau in honor of his son’s wedding. Therefore, the symbolic ancestral crests of the groom and the bride can be evidently seen in the interior and exterior of the castle.

This captivating chateau is built in dreamy Renaissance style which is so acclaimed all across the valley of Loire. Only local materials were used in the construction of this castle, such as the abundant oak obtained from the forests of Bergault and Charnie. The Bois Salon inside the chateau is exclusively paneled with this supple oak and is only one of a kind throughout France. During the construction of this castle, the reputable architect introduced many innovative concepts in this building such as a contemporary heating system which could be powered from the main heating system, plumbing, and electricity.

In 1603, the Chateau de Fleury situated in the area of Fontainbleu, was being built by Le Comte Clause who later on got married to Mlle D’Argouges. The Chateau de la Motte was being built 250 years later by Le Marquis, Edouard-Leonor d’Argouges, and therefore this chateau came into his family’s possession. As a consequence of which, some pieces of fittings, fireplace, and furniture were relocated from Chateau de Fleury to the La Motte. The significant of all pieces was the impressive Renaissance fireplace which is still present in the Bleu Salon.  

In addition to these grand monuments, the chateau also includes windows designed with stained glass on the landing, the grand Round Library, along with amazingly designed staircase. The stained glass window was designed by Hallaume, who is widely known for his work in the famous cathedrals of Chartres and Reims.

Another thing that catches the eye are the grounds of the enchanting chateau. In late Nineteenth century, giving a natural look to the landscapes was the ongoing trend, and thus the gardens of the chateau were specially designed to bear resemblance to a beautiful English Park, equipped with an ornamental inland and lake. Trees such as American Redwood, American Oak, plus the Lebanon Cedars were brought in to complete the look. A garden with large walls was also designed in a simple style of four squares included game, sections for poultry, orchards and on orangery. This garden now includes rose gardens and a swimming pool.

Up until 19th century, this castle was completely self reliant with an orangery, a bakery, a piggery, and stables and quite a number of outbuilding that were designed for comfortable living.

Until 1969, the castle remained in the possession of D’Argoges family. It sustained a lot of damage during World War 2 and was then bought by Mme Piau-Agneauz, who took the responsibility of restoring the beautiful chateau and then the chateau operated as an exclusive albeit small hotel. For many years it was a favorite get away for a number of French celebrities and politicians, who made the most of its delicious local cuisine, private location, and helipad coordinates.

The enchanting chateau was again sold to Vivienne Birt and Simon in 2001, who are to date dedicated to the continued preservation and restoration of the Chateau. They have also added Italian fountains and formal swimming pools to its already beautiful interior; they have also restored the Pavillon, which is a cottage that is now accessible on rent on a weekly basis, and the rose gardens.

The chateau is now home to a number of their family artwork and furniture originating from England and Scotland along with many French artifacts that represent the region and epoque.  

Since the Birts took the ownership of the Chateau they have been endeavoring to give it an air of elegance and romance which is both inviting and warm.

The Enchanting Chateau De La Motte is at present accessible for selective marriage ceremonies and family gatherings, and is a place that can turn your event into an enthralling and captivating fairy tale like experience.

 Photo album of the Chateau

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