August 20, 2011

À cœur vaillant rien d’impossible

In our debut issue, we took you inside Château du Troncq, a privately owned and lovingly restored monument historique in the heart of Normandy. Looking back through the feature (it's one of my most favorite) I realized that we'd not shown several of the landscape shots sent to us by photographer Mireille Roobaert

The grounds of the château, which were designed by André Le Nôtre and carefully restored after the disasterous winter storm of 1999, are dotted with picturesque moments. There are stone benches, elaborate urns, a pond, an orangerie, and a sculpture of the Madonna that over time has become nearly embedded in the trunk of an ancient tree. There's also a pristine example of a 16th-century pigeonnier. The right to raise pigeons, a dietary staple of the period and a source of, ahem, fantastic fertilizer, was only granted to the nobility. (Woe be the lowly farmer nextdoor trying to sow seeds in the spring or harvest grain in the fall!) The size and scale of Troncq's example is testament to the estate's status.

The gardens are open to the public on a limited basis. To learn more about the history of the château and surrounding village, visit the community's Web site, here.  They offer a different look at the estate (the château covered in snow, for example), as well as historical documents like the plan below.

**And for those of you who have scrolled all the way down to read this, you'll be the first to know that the château's owner has also offered us her main residence. In the September/October issue, we'll be taking you inside her modernist, contemporary art-filled home in Belgium. It's every inch as chic but the polar opposite of her historic Normandy retreat.

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