Chateau De Vendeuvre in Normandy a hidden treasure
Looking for a beautiful Normandy chateau to visit? Chateau De Vendeuvre is in the Manche region of Normandy in the heart of Vendeuvre. Not only is Chateau De Vendeuvre a really pretty house but it has a hidden museum of miniature’s there as well. This French chateau makes for great afternoon out in the Caen region and is perfect for children too.
I have to say my heart skipped a beat when we pulled up outside. I literally jumped out of the car and raced to the gates of this beautiful prestigious house. The house stands out from behind impressive iron gates with a perfectly trimmed lawn and topiary to match.
The chateau was built in 1741 by bath architect Jacques-Francois Blondel and is typical mid 18th century in style. Alexandre le Forestier d’Osseville, the count of Vendeuvre had the chateau built after moving for Osseville and Caen. It is classed as a historic monument and is still occupied by the Vendeuvre family to this day.
Inside the Chateau
Upon entering the Chateau you are emersed in to an 18th century world. The family had a love of fine art and furniture as well as curiosities of the world. You will visit the Hall, Dining room, two bedrooms drawing rooms, study and the smoking room.
Each room is typical of the French Rococo period and dressed perfectly showcasing antique objects, furniture and paintings in complete opulence. While not being an overly huge house is has an exquisite feel of grandeur and has the most interesting curios I have ever seen in a historic home.
You are given a guide book to accompany you on entry which points out the artefacts and information on the home in its day. It also has a map on the front to guide you.
I was amazed how beautiful the house was upon entering, each room is full of gold and gilt. The hallway is a large open room in which once upon a time guests would of been entertained.
The dining room was adorned with tropical fruit and the table was laid ready for guests.
Stunning reception rooms
Walking through to the back of the house is the Drawing room, which was the place to entertain guests and play games, each door had a unique painted panel above it. The dog bed in the foreground of this photo is Louis XV of the 18th century, made in rosewood marquetry and trimmed with damask. A truly Lavishly decorated architectural room with something curious everywhere you look.
The study was beautiful with birdcages curiosities and parquet floors. Each room had an ornate dog bed and stunning chandeliers.
Exquisite Furniture in every room
The smoking room is as delightful room. Extraordinary woodland scenes are on the walls and painted musical instruments adorn the room. There is a man smoking a pipe is seated on a the music box in this room.
The bedroom is filled with traveling cases which obtained objects to make one look beautiful. The 18th century bedroom of Louise Aimée de Vendeuvre is stunning. The bedroom would of been originally upstairs, it is now is set up downstairs to show how the occupants would have lived. The chandelier light hanging from the ceiling was my favourite piece in the room and the small chairs were for the families pet dogs.
I have never seen so many automated boxes!
One of the most marvellous curios in this house was the Automated moving boxes with delicate figures on. In the Hallway a box stands with three figurines playing the piano and the harp in traditional French Rococo style. In the small drawing room a man is painting a young lady while her real portrait sits alongside.
The automation box in the dining room was two figures serving tea and in the main bedroom the automated box is a lady delicately lifting her hand to powder her nose. In the study a lady writes a letter and in the smoking room a man smokes a pipe.
I looked up in one room to find a gold fish bowl light complete with a swimming goldfish!
You can even visit the Kitchens of the chateau and get an insight in to how they would go gone about there daily life. Recipes are on the wall with huge copper pans typical of the normandy region.
It’s a dog life
The chateau also has a huge collection of antique dog beds featuring walnut, gilded wood and marquetry. This extensive collection is like nothing I have ever seen before and gives a rare insight in how dogs were pampered by their owners.
The Gardens of the Chateau
It is also a great place for children as the garden has so many hidden treasures. Alternatively there is plenty of wildlife such as ducks and swans and the chateau also keeps goats, birds and rabbits dotted throughout the gardens. The house even had its own ice house, a prominent pyramid hidden in the grounds. You could spend ages in the garden admiring the plants and secret corners. The water features in the gardens were full of surprises, fountains gush from Japanese bridges and pagodas while swans swim on the lakes. With plenty of openspaces for children to play and hide it really is a secret garden.
Be aware that there is also open water so keep an eye on young children.
Miniature miniatures at Chateau De Vendeuvre
Perhaps the most mesmerising part of the museum is the Miniature collection. At the age of seven Elyane de Vendeuvre admired a miniature 18th century writing desk in the home of an elderly aunt. Elyane’s Aunt was Struck by her niece’s fascination with the masterpiece and she gave it to her as an eighteenth birthday present. This was the start of an extensive collection which is now on show at the house.
The collection includes all sorts of miniatures as well as dolls house miniatures, mock ups of masterpieces from craftsmen and also children furniture. The miniatures vary in size with each one being completely unique.
Visiting The Chateau
This chateau is just 30 minutes from Caen and makes for a great afternoon out. Chateau De Vendeuvre is open mainly in the afternoon throughout the year as well as through the summer. Please checkout their website for details.
You can visit all of the chateau along with the miniatures and garden or just the gardens alone. Entrance to the house costs between €11.90 and €9.90 for adults €9.50 to €7.90 for children.
You can purchase cold drinks in the shop as well as gifts in the gift shop. There are also a few picnic tables to the left of the chateau as well as benches dotted throughout the gardens.
We loved our stay in Caen there is so much to do in the area, if you are visiting this area you could also try some more places to visit in Normandy