Visit Chateau des Milandes
Chateau des Milandes was built in 1489. It was left to fall into ruin during the French Revolution but restored in the 19th Century when it was bought, in the 1930s, by the legendary Josephine Baker.
The chateau is one of the prettier of the chateaus in this area and is surrounded by a very pleasant garden. The chateau illustrates the transition from gothic to Renaissance architecture with features inside from both eras. Inside the large windows let in plenty of light?
The chateau is now largely devoted to Josephine Baker. Starting with the nude photographs taken of Josephine early in her career, moving on, in the salle de music-hall, to photos of her many stage appearances and displays including one of her legendary banana belts! Le grand salon, a beatiful room with a gothic frieze and a Renaissance frieze, plus a collection of fabulous dresses worn by Josephine Baker and created by some of the most famous dress designers of the day. Another room is dedicated to Josephine's resistance work and includes her military uniform and the medals she was awarded for her work in the resistance. This included helping numerous refugees escape France and transmitting to General de Galle messages written in invisible ink on the pages of her music.
Josephine's art deco bathrooms can be seen. One of thes is in the colours of her favourite perfume, Arpège, by Jeanne Lanvin. Principally the colours are gold and black. The bedroom of Jo Bouillon, her fourth husband and father of their twelve adopted children, can also be seen and the bedroom or Akio the oldest of these children. The bedroom of Josephine Baker includes her bed, a four poser bought by Josephine in Belgium.
The exhibition continues through the dining room and small dining room and finishes in the kitchen where there is a large and very sad picture of Josephine sat on her doorstep having been evicted from the chateau when it was forcibly sold to pay back some of Josephine's debts.
Falconry was an integral part of life in the Middle-Ages and during April to October there is a falconry display at the Chateau des Milandes.