Here are a few more pictures I've taken at Fougères-sur-Bièvre over the past 12 years. Some of these date back as far as the year 2000, while others are from September 2012.
The first time I ever heard about the château at Fougères-sur-Bièvre, it was from my old friend CHM, all those years ago. He said it was worth a visit, and it was (and is). CHM has been our best guide as we've explored France over the past 20 years.
On a whirlwind tour of the Loire Valley 12 years ago, in one week Walt and I visited Fougères along with Chenonceau, Chambord Chaumont-sur-Loire, Montrichard, Mennetou-sur-Cher, the château du Moulin, Chinon, Loches, Saumur — as I said, we were like a tornado blowing through.
For that whirlwind tour, we based ourselves in a gîte rural in Vouvray for the week. In June 2001, we came back and spent two weeks in the same vacation house. And it is because of those experiences, more than any other factor, that we ended up living in the Loire Valley almost 10 years ago.
At Fougères-sur-Bièvre with friends visiting from Zurich in October 2003, we admired the château's vegetable garden (photo above, taken through an old window with wavy glass). When we decided to devote part of our back yard to growing vegetables, Walt remembered the pattern of four garden plots at Fougères, and that's how he laid out our own jardin potager. (Too bad our house isn't quite a castle!)
The house above — the gatehouse at Fougères — isn't really like the one we live in, but it is typical of houses in Touraine in style and look. Those houses and the gardens, more than the enormous châteaux, are what attracted us to the Loire Valley, and Touraine specifically.