Monday, April 21, 2014

R - Le Château de Laréole

I’ve looked forward to this post because this chateau is one of my favorites, only to find that the name is “Laréole” not “La Réole,” as I’d thought! But I’m still going to post it under R because you must see it.  Laréole was built in 1579 and took three years to complete. It is distinctive amongst renaissance chateaus first because of the horizontal layering of red and white brick which is rare in a building this size, and second, because after its restoration started in 1984 it has been put to eager and plentiful use. Invited artists display their works inside and out at different times of the year and the lawns are conducive to outdoor concerts and fairs which are held here throughout the summer. In spite of the quietness of the place as you tour, it boasts thousands of visitors a year. The first time we went the restorations had not been completed, and I was able to peek through closed doors to see and photograph one of the original long salons running the length. Now that salon and its mate on the opposite side have been restored and are “galleries” for artwork. We’ve been lucky enough to see two different displays, which you will see photos of shortly. It’s a peaceful place with rolling fields spreading out on all sides. A small church sits in the small village just outside its gates. I recommend this chateau for anyone who likes to see history being used in such a gentile and useful way.  

Le chateau de Laréole
On the grounds with a view of a farm on another hill
In the courtyard with one of the statues on display
A rainbow by the same artist (and I can't remember their name!)
The old stables renovated into a museum for the chateau.
In the main entrance hall, a large fireplace with my kids inside to show the scale.
This was 2006 and the artist on display was Dominique Fajeau and his "keys."
In the courtyard, three spheres made of real welded keys, "clefs" pronounced (cleh) in French.

A close up of one of the spheres to show the detail.
The main entrance into the courtyard.
The view if you turn around at the front entrance. Carriages used to arrive up this avenue from the road below.
On the side of the chateau, the gardens begin.
A statue of elephants in the green surrounded by the old guard house, the stables and the chateau.
One of the salon galleries before restoration.
A statue in a restored salon gallery
The small church right outside the gates.
A row of homes facing the church.
The country attached to the chateau used for concerts and fetes.
Looking closely the grass has been cut to remind us of the layout of the formal gardens during the heyday of the chateau.
For more information on this chateau and the surrounding area sights, go HERE


  1. What a lovely tour. Thank you! Those key spheres are amazing.

  2. Wonderful photos and commentary...thank-you for sharing. It definitely works for the Letter 'R' with words Renaissance and Renovation.
    Sue at CollectInTexas Gal

  3. That's great they restored it and use the place to display artwork. Very unique building from the outside.

  4. Every day I stop by your blog and I get a new heartbreak. SO much beauty to pause and admire, and such little time!

    Damyanti, Co-host A to Z Challenge April 2014, My Latest post

    Twitter: @AprilA2Z

  5. Versailles did something similar when we visited. A Japanese exhibit (very modern) was distributed in some of the galleries. It''s a lush setting for the art, but sometimes it clashes (to me it clashed). I know the upkeep is helped by loaning out space, so it has to be tolerated. These heritage places must be preserved.

    Enjoying your French places. Thanks for sharing the images! I answered your question about the timeline on my WEP story. Hope it helps.

  6. Oh that's wonderful Lisa! I love when buildings are kept alive like that. So many things it's seen in it's time. Amazing to think of all of those years and what's been under it's roof. Thanks for sharing it.

    Happy A to Z-ing!
    herding cats & burning soup.

  7. The photos really are stunning. What ambiance. The history. All those who travelled through there first. I envy the adventure you're on. These days I'm not sure my feet would be up to it.

  8. Hello Lisa. Chateaux! One of my favorite things about France. This one is amazing. Beautiful images. I spent a month in the Loire a few years ago. Bit of chateau overdose. And I still can't believe Versailles!

  9. That looks like an awesome place and what a fireplace! Very cool stuff :)

  10. Hi Lisa,

    Such magical times in France. I always love your photo tours and your words capture an ambient warmth. What a fascinating Château. Thank you for this, my kind friend.

    Gary :)

  11. Love the sphere and those three bears. It must've been a wonderful trip.

  12. Wow, wow and again WOW! Such and interesting place. I love the key spheres. They must have taken a great deal of time to complete.

  13. Hi Lisa - that's an amazing place to know about - I'd love to see it and then see artwork displayed there too. Those key spheres are extraordinary .. and I love the elephant sculpture .. how magnificent to go to a concert there ..

    Wonderful le Chateau de Lareole .. magnifique ... cheers Hilary


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