Thursday, October 10, 2019

5 of the Most Beautiful Houses in France ♥

Anyone who has visited France will know that the country’s architecture is reflective of its rich and diverse history. Its ancient culture and opulent royal and noble families have resulted in an upper class that is partial to an elegance and decadence that is almost unparalleled by any other country.

While such lifestyles are not such commonplace in the modern-day, one of the best places to witness the style and sophistication of old is the remaining palaces and chateaus left behind the gentry. Here are some of the most beautiful examples of the fine houses in France.

Château de Chambord
Standing proudly in the Loire Valley, Château de Chambord is a remarkable and cavernous castle. It sits in 52 square kilometres of wooded parkland and game reserve and is enclosed by a 31-kilometre wall. Since its construction (which was never finished) in 1547, the castles spectacular size has caused it to fall into disrepair multiple times. Today the chateau stands as a monument to France’s finest Renaissance buildings.

Palace of Versailles
Found 20 kilometres to the southwest of Paris, every visitor to France should experience the Palace of Versailles. Now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the lavish palace started with humble beginnings as a hunting lodge. Charmed by the surrounding forests and mystical allure of the site, gracious kings have altered, extended, and amplified the magnificent building and gardens. The original construction was built by Louis XIII and was completed in 1634. The incredible hall of mirrors became the site where both the Franco-Prussian War (1870-71) and the First World War (1914-18) became formally concluded.

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Chateau-de-la-Motte Husson
Some of you may be familiar with Chateau-de-la-Motte Husson as the new family home and venue that has been lovingly restored by creative couple Dick Strawbridge and Angel Adoree in channel 4’s Escape to the Chateau series. The ongoing restoration features bespoke designs from both Dick and Angel, who are both fantastic craftsmen in their own right. The chateau stands on the site of a former fortress that dates back to the 12th century. Those wishing to visit the location can do so by booking the venue for exclusive weddings and parties, or by attending one of their dynamic events.

Palace of Fontainebleau
The marvellous Palace of Fontainebleau was, in fact, the residence of the kings of France from the 12th century to the end of the 19th century. The sprawling royal residence is now a museum that showcases over 700 years of eventful and dramatic French history. Another UNESCO World Heritage Site, the chateau is carved from golden stone and adjourned with elaborate carvings and features both inside and out.

Château Raray
The beautiful Château Raray is the perfect hidden gem. While smaller in size to some of the other chateaus, it is no less spectacular or elegant. Such elegance resulted in the property being used as the set for the first film adaption of Beauty and the Beast by Jean Cocteau in 1945. The decorative French exterior is complemented by the English style gardens, designed by famous English landscaper Thomas Blaikie. Today, the castle is an exclusive location for luxury yoga holidays in France, as well as stylish hotel breaks and golf stays - how amazing would it be to stay there?

These 5 houses are absolutely stunning and places which I'd love to visit when I'm in France again. I can already imagine the fabulous photo opportunities they'd bring!

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