Islette Castle is a peaceful haven for visitors who especially appreciate the natural parc and the Indre River flowing through. Beautifully shaded by hundred-year-old trees, the banks of the river are scattered with deckchairs inviting you to relax and let your mind wander.
The name of the place -l’Islette- says it all and reflects the importance of the water element in this landscape: the castle is surrounded by the river and its canals and the watermill that once used to regulate the flow is still present in the parc.
Islette was completed in 1530, by the same team of workers as for its close neighbourg. It is therefore considered Chateau Azay-Le-Rideau’s little brother, even though today the resemblance is not so striking, due to many changes made on the building in the 19th century.
Sold during the 1st French Empire, the castle was strongly modified: the moats were filled with earth, the towers truncated and the windows narrowed to give it the appearance it still has today.
But this new architectural style actually attracted the most well-know French sculptors couple: Camille Claudel and Auguste Rodin. Not only did they choose to settle there artist workshop there but this was also the hidden place for the passionate love affair they had together.
Some of their masterpieces were created there like Rodin’s famous Balzac and « The young chatelaine » by Camille Claudel, whose model for this sculpture was the Chateau owner’s daughter.
Today, the Château de l’Islette stands apart from all the other Loire Valley castles as it is still inhabited by its owners. Comes Spring and the entire Michaud family moves to a barn close by to let visitors in... but you will see here and there evidence that they are never too far away...
Don’t miss : the Chapel where the family used to store fishing rods, and the girl’s bathroom, a real tribute to disco years !