Friday, 24 January 2020

Girl Power at the Chateau of Candé


A little known fact about the Chateau of Candé is that it was briefly home to a girls' school.

The view from the terrace of the Chateau de Candé.
The view from the terrace at the Chateau of Cande.  Indre et Loire, France. Photographed by Susan Walter. Tour the Loire Valley with a classic car and a private guide.

Charlotte Claire Spitz was the second wife of Santiago Drake del Castillo, the anglo-spanish planter who owned the Chateau de Candé from 1853 to 1871. He doubled the size of the chateau to what we see today, and she founded a girls' school, primarily for those who lived too far from the town.

The back of the chateau.
The back of the Chateau de Cande.  Indre et Loire, France. Photographed by Susan Walter. Tour the Loire Valley with a classic car and a private guide.

Situated in one wing of the chapel, Charlotte designed the curriculum herself. Girls could do a dressmaking apprenticeship, cooking and tasks associated with the natural resources around them on the land. It was an instant success, and local families were enthusiastic supporters, because the teaching reflected the reality of life on the land. The school gained professional accreditation from the education authorities and was able to offer well regarded qualifications.

The entrance to the 19C wing of the chateau.  Indre et Loire, France. Photographed by Susan Walter. Tour the Loire Valley with a classic car and a private guide.

Sixty students attended.

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2 comments:

  1. What a lovely building to have as your school. Does it have any 'function' these days other than a place to visit?

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    1. Fern Lombard Bedaux, the last private owner, gifted the property to the State on her death in 1971. It is now run as a nature reserve, public access historic house and they stage lots of events, including a music festival and gastronomy workshops and markets. So far as I can tell the school ceased once the Drake del Castillo family were no longer the owners, and possibly some time before that.

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