Four favorites from September


Nov 7th, 2018, 12:38 PM
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Four favorites from September

The trip report I started was turning into War and Peace so I decided to include only our top favorites.

This is the Chateau díO at Mortree, seen from inside its front gate.

It was open only 40 days this year, maybe because the owners (itís privately owned) accept some public funding. If thatís the case, I thank the French taxpayer for making our visit possible. We did tip the guide.

This place is an architectural gem. It was built in 1484, then added to in the 15th and 16th centuries and improved in the 18th century. Recent owners have spiffed it up.

As you walk through the wrought iron gate at the entrance to the property, you catch your first sight of the chateau. It has everything you want in a chateauĖa moat all the way around, two footbridges, a flamboyant gothic entryway, turrets, towers, witchís hat roofs, mullioned stone windows, chimneys, fabulous dormers, a facade that is mostly sober stone but with an interesting section thatís a patchwork of brick and stone.
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Nov 7th, 2018, 12:45 PM
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Gorgeous photo and thoroughly delightful, written description. It is now on my short list, and I thank you for posting it.
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Nov 7th, 2018, 12:54 PM
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The tour starts on the footbridge that crosses the moat and passes through the elegant gatehouse to enter a large courtyard.

Our guide explained the two-story gallery that connects buildings from two different eras. She took us into the former guardroom, now the family’s beautiful kitchen with lots of copper pots. We climbed the stone spiral staircase to a long hallway overlooking one part of the moat. There were lots of tall windows on the exterior wall, mirrors on the inner wall, and chandeliers overhead. At the far end of the hallway we saw two rooms, one painted with Apollo and the muses and the other a charming bedroom. That was all we were shown of the interior. I’d have liked to see more, but it is a private home.
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Nov 7th, 2018, 01:01 PM
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I am happy to see photos of ch teaux that I don't know about, but I imagine that you can understand that when you live in France (or many of the nearby countries), you can get ch teau burnout before long, so you don't really visit all that many of them after awhile. They're always nice to look at from the outside, but inside there are always the same cold rooms with sparse furnishings.

The fact that this is a private residence might have perhaps allowed you to see a more cosy setting, but from what you write, it seems that you only saw the kitchen and maybe just a "show kitchen" -- if there was no refrigerator and no microwave, you can bet on it.
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Nov 7th, 2018, 03:52 PM
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We exited by the second footbridge and walked around clockwise, admiring the regularity of the Renaissance facade on the back of the chateau as well as ducks and black swans. There’s no enclosing wall on the north side, so you have a clear view into the courtyard. This chateau could be used to illustrate a roofing dictionary.

The chateau has an elegant dovecote, the only dovecote I can say that about (not that I’ve seen them all yet). There’s also a small chapel. Louis Benech designed the garden. Much as I love gardens, I gave this one a pass since it looked too formal for me.

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Nov 7th, 2018, 05:28 PM
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After quite some time driving the narrow roads we finally came upon the Chateau d'O, only to find the gates locked and the Chateau inaccessible. You were lucky!
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Nov 7th, 2018, 11:28 PM
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Lovely photos. It is a real fairytale chateau. You can imagine a princess in the tower!
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Nov 8th, 2018, 04:58 AM
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shellio, how disappointing! It's frustrating trying to visit these limited-time-only chateaux, because they have no website, other websites contradict each other, and we've learned that tourist offices aren't reliable. We were lucky that our B&B hostess had been there a few weeks before and knew the hours and the phone number. We were supposed to make reservations, but no one answered the phone, so we made that long drive and were prepared to wait but didn't have to.

Last edited by Coquelicot; Nov 8th, 2018 at 04:59 AM. Reason: improve text
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