The Château de Laréole
The Château de Laréole, a jewel of the Renaissance, is next to Cadours, home of purple garlic, and 42 kilometres north-west of Toulouse.
The Château de Laréole – a jewel of the Renaissance with a 20-hectare garden « à la Française »
The Château de Laréole, a jewel of the Renaissance, is next to Cadours, home of purple garlic, and 42 kilometres north-west of Toulouse. Its defining feature is its polychrome stonework : the exterior is built of alternate rows of white stonework and red brick to beautiful effect. In 1579 the architect Dominique Bachelier was commissioned to build the Château de Laréole for Pierre de Cheverny, an important woad merchant and person of distinction.
Laréole was built in the shape of a large square protected by four bastion towers. Large brick ditches accentuate its defensive character, essential during this period of the Wars of Religion. The main building is an example of a new architectural style of the period, illustrating Cheverny’s expensive taste, with a modern lay-out combining a large reception hall and apartments.
At the foot of the Renaissance castle are 20 hectares of gardens « à la Française » : a lawn bordered with box hedges, a series of terraces, lime tree walks. The decor is enhanced by twenty species of fruit tree and flower meadows. The gardens were laid out during the 18th century by the Colomès family who drew their inspiration from recommendations by Le Nôtre : broad perspectives, planted flower beds, lawned terraces and wooded masses.
Since 1984, the listed building has been owned by the Conseil Départemental de la Haute-Garonne who have totally renovated it. Since 2006 it has been the venue for summer exhibitions of contemporary art.
How to visit the Château de Laréole
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