Château de Dinteville

2008 Grant of $30,000—Atlanta, Palm Beach Chapter

The Château de Dinteville, tucked amid fields and rolling hills, was built in the 16th century around a 13th-century keep. It was home to the Dinteville family, famous in the Champagne region for its illustrious figures: bishops, ambassadors and officers of the King. The family died out in the 17th century; the château was purchased and restored by the Chevalier Le Brun in the early 18th century. It is best known for its five-hectare park that presents structured elements (a water alley and rows of centenary lime trees) and a layout harmoniously linked with the forest setting.

The park is the work of the Vicomte de Sainte Maur, who also built the marvellously constructed Orangerie in the early 19th century. A carved stone building with a slate roof, the Orangerie is built against a hillside, facing south. Palm trees that provided summer decoration for the courtyard of honor were housed within its walls and the Marquise de La Ville-Baugé conserved her orchids there. One of two large green-houses remains. Above all, the elegant Orangerie was far ahead of its time in the use of innovative building techniques and natural insulation. It maximizes its southern exposure to take advantage of the climate while protecting delicate plants during harsh winters. Its design addresses many of the concerns felt today – the need to harmonize a site with its natural environment and create natural temperature control.

Restoration of the orangerie