Château du Touvet

2011 Grant of $20,000—Atlanta and Northern California Chapters

Proudly guarded by the same ownership since 1528, the Château du Touvet boasts a vast structured garden as well as a spectacular staircase of cascading water that is still considered one of the most remarkable in all of France, having flowed freely without any use of machinery for over 250 years. Looming high in the Alps, the château was once an imposing fortress encircled by moats and towers, valiantly defending the valley of Isère from the sieges of the Count of Savoie. However, as centuries passed the château grew both in size and grandeur, evolving into a “château de plaisance,” embodying the art de vivre of the aristocracy of the region through its painted panelling, gypseries, parquetry and draperies of golden leather.

Restoration: The FHS grant helped restore the masonry work of the staircase of cascading water.