Photo Gallery: Keys to the Castle, France
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Hide CaptionShow CaptionChateau de Villandry is one of the most visited tourist sites in Europe, especially the top of the grand ancient tower, which provides a breathtaking view of the 15 acres of ornamental gardens. But it's also home to Henri Carvallo and his family. Henri has lived there most of his life and is thrilled that his sons are getting to grow up there, too.
Arranged around a U-shaped courtyard, Chateau de Villandry boasts a medieval tower with three 16th-century wings, where there are 60 magnificent rooms spread over three floors. The castle was saved from demolition by current owner Henri Carvallo's great-grandfather in 1906. The price was $24,000, but today it's worth more than $24 million. The pièce de résistance is the 15 acres of incredible gardens, said to be the most spectacular in Europe. Each garden has a specific theme, and every tiny hedge within them is manicured to perfection. Chateau de Villandry typically receives about 500,000 paying visitors per year, which helps offset the cost of living there for Henri.