Visitors exploring the Balzac Museum grounds.



Sensory journey: Listen with your eyes… See with your bare feet…


The 2ha grounds around the château are free to visit during the museum opening times and provide an idyllic place to stroll and enjoy vistas of Saché village, the Indre Valley and the "tranquil and solitary valley" brought to life in The Lily of the Valley. Spring sees the layout of the gardens and orchards detailed in the Atlas de la Terre de Saché (1820) temporarily return for a late cutting to encourage biodiversity and conjure the rural nature of The Lily of the Valley. Deckchairs and library-hives appear in summer so visitors can unwind beneath the ancient trees in the grounds.

Picnics allowed all year.


Listen with your eyes… See with your bare feet…

At the edge of the Saché woods, take a path to listen and observe the forest, then enjoy the experience of walking barefoot on a path made with natural materials, between wood, stone and plants. Another way to explore your sensations and emotions and feel alive!…

Course open to the public from April to October.


In Balzac's day

The gardens and orchards to the north of the château gave Honoré de Balzac a shady place to walk in the first half of the 19th century. The right-angled paths may bring to mind "French" gardens but the grounds would have had more in common with the rural atmosphere in The Lily of the Valley, when Félix de Vandenesse makes bouquets from wild flowers for Henriette de Mortsauf.


It's 9 o' clock, it's time to get ready and go on a half hour stroll in the hope of finding the 1st act of The Lesser Bourgeoisie around the path's corner. Honoré de Balzac, Letter to Mrs Hanska, June 1848.

Château de Saché and grounds (detail)

Atlas de la Terre de Saché owned by Mr Jean, François, Alexandre Margonne

Attributed to Jacques Briau, estate manager

1820, Tours, Indre-et-Loire Department Archives