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Gardens of Château De Haroué

Miguel Flores-Vianna / Rizzoli

Surely, few places are comparable to the utterly spectacular Château de Haroué? Located in a remote village in the Lorraine region of northeastern France, the estate of the château is known to be a unique treasure of Gallic culture and heritage – and the latest subject of a book by Rizzoli.

The de Beauvau-Craon family

Miguel Flores-Vianna / Rizzoli

Built between 1720 and 1729 for Marc de Beauvau, Prince de Beauvau-Craon, Constable of Lorraine and Viceroy of Tuscany, his descendants have inhabited the castle and kept it going in the finest of styles ever since.

Formal dining area

Miguel Flores-Vianna / Rizzoli

Interestingly, the mesmerising château, thoroughly in harmony with its natural setting, is built to the designs of a year with 365 windows, 52 fireplaces, 12 towers and four bridges crossing the moat. The book was the brainchild of Minnie de Beauvau-Craon, the daughter of Marc de Beauvau-Craon, the seventh and last Prince of Beauvau-Craon, who died from a heart attack when Minnie was just 29, in 1982. Minnie says: ‘The attachment I now feel to Haroué cannot be explained in any rational way; it is beyond reason. It is not emotional nor is it quantifiable. Is it my life, my soul and my anchor. This house is a part of me’.

Corridor from a staircase

Miguel Flores-Vianna / Rizzoli

Haroué, today, is not just a family home but a beloved focal point of the community. Minnie’s father opened it to the public in 1964, but she has made it even more of an attraction with annual art exhibitions and an opera. In an introduction, Minnie writes that she wanted to ‘stay faithful to the memory of my father’, who was 21 when he inherited it in 1942, when his father, Prince Charles-Louis de Beaucau-Craon passed away. That, it would seem, she has done. The book is formed of chapters on its architecture and gardens, the cellars, the state rooms, the royal apartment, the privat Haroué and the attics. It’s a visual feast that is not to be missed.

Château De Haroué by Victoria Botana de Beauvau

Miguel Flores-Vianna / Rizzoli

Château de Haroué: The Home of the Princes de Beauvau-Craon by Victoria Botana de Beauvau (Rizzoli, £45) is on sale now

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