The Château of le Rivau: a magical world

A pinch of poetry, a touch of fantasy, a hint of magic and a sprinkling of humour… Welcome to the magical world of the Château of Le Rivau and its gardens! From its gothic interiors to its stables and poetic gardens, the Château of Le Rivau invites you to discover an absolutely enchanting experience in the heart of the Loire Valley.

The Château of le Rivau: a unique history

The history of the Château of Le Rivau began in the 13th century, when the site was home to a fortified house. Brought as a dowry by Anne de Fontenay when she married Pierre de Beauvau, First Chamberlain to Charles VII, the medieval building was further fortified in the 15th century with the agreement of the king. Pierre de Beauvau built towers with turrets, a moat, machicolations, a drawbridge and a wall walk typical of the Middle Ages.

Fleurs devant le Château du Rivau
Château du Rivau

Despite its impressive exterior, the château’s interiors were more welcoming and reflected the delicate tastes of leisure residences. The building has been owned by numerous people over the centuries, including artists and marquises, and was still lived in in the 19th century. In 1992, Le Rivau was sold to its current owners, Eric and Patricia Laigneau. This couple of “magicians” moved in and transformed the place into an extraordinary château straight out of a fairytale!

Visiting the château of le Rivau

E. Vandenbroucque – CRT Centre-Val de Loire
Sculpture dans les jardins du Chateau du Rivau


Come and discover the fruit of extensive restoration work carried out by Eric and Patricia Laigneau during an unforgettable visit! Gothic fireplaces, a Brussels tapestry, magnificent Renaissance paintings, frescoes… plunge into the heart of the history of the place and of its individual residents.
Discover the family collection of hunting trophies and art, as well as many works by contemporary artists that bring a touch of humour to the collections!

The Château of Le Rivau also makes great use of sound effects during the visit. The whole environment of the château will take you back in time to the age of knights, seigneurs, feasts and tournaments. Close your eyes and listen the sound of horses’ hooves on the stones!
Are you planning to visit the château as a family? Choose something different and take part in a children’s costume tour during the school holidays!

Château du Rivau
Chevaliers en armures pour des joutes équestres au chateau du Rivau

The stables of the château of le Rivau: a must-see!

Chateau du Rivau
Château du Rivau

A magnificent 16th-century construction, the stables of the Château of Le Rivau are the oldest in France. They have always been an important feature of the Château of Le Rivau because they were used to rear battle horses for the kings of France. Inside, an audiovisual show is projected onto the vaulted walls and brings the old destriers of Le Rivau back to life during a celebration of equestrian art in all its forms. Magical and astonishing!


Of all the magical features of Château du Rivau, the gardens are one of the highlights. Walking through these gardens is like stepping into a fairytale world. The six hectares of greenery revisit the most famous tales through 16 magical pictures, each combining botanical collections, games and artworks. Among them, don’t miss the Gargantua Kitchen Garden, a real tribute to Rabelais where you can admire 43 varieties of pumpkins and gourds, which you can also taste in the restaurant of the Château of Le Rivau! The Château of Le Rivau is also home to an exceptional rose garden where the roses are chosen for their fragrances. This special selection comprises a unique conservatory entirely dedicated to fragrant roses, with no less than 450 varieties! This sweet-smelling garden also hosts the annual Days of the Rose, when poetic trails and creative workshops are organised. It is true paradise for flower lovers! Listed as a Remarkable Garden by the French Ministry for Culture, these plant ornamentations are tended with special care to encourage sustainable development.


Can I have lunch or dinner at the Château of Le Rivau?

The Château of Le Rivau welcomes you to its two restaurants: the gastronomic restaurant called “Le Jardin Secret” and the “La Table des Fées” restaurant. Both use locally grown ingredients and vegetables from the certified organic kitchen garden. Take the opportunity to taste new flavours and extra-local food! If you want to extend your visit, the Château of Le Rivau also has a hotel where you can stay for a night or longer. Each of the rooms are decorated in a style inspired by a Renaissance figure!

Can I buy tickets online?

Save time and prepare your visit to the Château of Le Rivau by booking your ticket via the link below! 

Opening times of the château of le Rivau

Horaires d’ouverture du 01 May au 30 September 2024
Lundi Ouvert de 10h à 19h
Mardi Ouvert de 10h à 19h
Mercredi Ouvert de 10h à 19h
Jeudi Ouvert de 10h à 19h
Vendredi Ouvert de 10h à 19h
Samedi Ouvert de 10h à 19h
Dimanche Ouvert de 10h à 19h
Horaires d’ouverture du 01 October au 11 November 2024
Lundi Ouvert de 10h à 18h
Mardi Ouvert de 10h à 18h
Mercredi Ouvert de 10h à 18h
Jeudi Ouvert de 10h à 18h
Vendredi Ouvert de 10h à 18h
Samedi Ouvert de 10h à 18h
Dimanche Ouvert de 10h à 18h
Fermé. Ouvre à 10h00
9 rue du Château
37120 LEMERE
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