Last autumn, I had an unexpected flash of excitement when discovering a chateau just 45 minutes South of Paris – in Nainville-les-Roches – that looked just as fairytale-like as I had dreamed of. It certainly must be its Louis XIII style that makes this imposing building of the 19th century so romantic. I quickly noticed that very few styled shoots had taken place in there, so I contacted the chateau owner, Virginie to enquire about the possibility to organize an event in there.
Extremely sympathetic Virginie explained to me that she and her husband had purchased the chateau barely two years earlier, and that they were renovating the whole of it. The chateau was previously owned by the French government, until the latter got rid of it and the building was abandoned for a few years. Now Virginie and her husband proceeded to tremendous works of renovation, from rebuilding the roof to refurbishing all the rooms, from the main salons to the no less that 176 second and third floor rooms. As I am writing, the renovation works are not finished yet, but the main parts should be ready by spring 2022, so that the chateau can welcome its first weddings. The large gardens were entirely rebuilt so that to recreate à la française gardens. The fountain West of the chateau is new and was settled just a few weeks before we shot in there.
Learning about how the new owners of the Chateau of Nainville-les-Roches are giving a new life to this piece of history is inspirational, because it is thanks to their passionate work – and to the help of many of their relatives – that a once abandoned romantic castle is now taking a new breath of life.