Parc et Jardins du Chateau de Trevarez

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This is about 5km south of Châteauneuf-de-Faou in the Forêt de Laz.

There is a large car park off the road and the Château is reached by a long walk through the trees from the car park past the splendid stable buildings.

It is a magnificent red brick building with decorative stonework, carvings and a slate roof, high above the Aulne valley, and is one of the last Châteaux to be built in France.

It was built in 1892 for James de Kerjegu who came from a noble, rural background. He read law and entered the diplomatic service and was based in embassies in Buenos Aires, St Petersburg and Vienna. He married Laura de Haber who was the daughter of a wealthy banking family. He had social ambitions and built the château to impress. It took 11 years to complete and cost 5 million gold francs (about 18 million euros). He died in 1908 and didn’t really have time to enjoy it. His daughter used it for hunting parties until WW1. During WW2 it was taken over by the Germans and was bombed by the British. It is currently being restored.

The chateau is built on top of a cliff with views across to Châteauneuf-de-Faou. Entry is from the ‘back’ which had a large formal garden. This is now planted up with box and Santolina, which are looking very unhealthy from an unspecified disease.

The doors have an open fretwork of cast iron and open into an impressive hall running the full width of the building. There are carved wooden openwork panels and large windows with views down to the lawns, chapel and across to Châteauneuf-de-Faou (see separate review).

There is now a small shop in the hall selling a selection of books. There are doorways leading into what was the library with wood lined walls with the remains of shelves and the large room beyond with a massive highly decorated fireplace. There are a series of display panels (in French, English and German) about James de Keriegu and the house.

The house had been provided with all the mod cons of late 19thC living. It had a steam engine to generate electricity for the lights and to work the lift. There was a cool room in the basement which had wooden cabinets lined with cork and sprayed with cold water to keep food cool.

The formal gardens include a long water display with a grassy walk, trimmed hedges and carved fountains. There are three feature fountains along the side of the hill and at the end is a cascade. Paths drop down the side of the hill and then loop back to walk below the ‘front’ of the Chateau with a bank of hydrangeas and rhododendron. There are no flower beds or herbaceous borders. There are several paths through the woodlands.

Unfortunately it turned into a dull, damp afternoon so we didn’t spend as long exploring the grounds as we had hoped. This really does need to be visited on a nice day.


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