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Heritage Tours

Dear Members,

Contact: Barbara Zander Heritage Tours Co-ordinator Lange Voorhout, 35 2514 EC The Hague The Netherlands T: +31 70 302 40 54 F: +31 70 361 78 65 E:

Heritage Tours Committe: Mr Tom E. Henkemans (Chairman) Mrs Reinildis E.A. van Ditzhuyzen Mrs Dineke de Koster-Burgersdijk Le Marquis de Léotoing d’Anjony Mrs Jeanette Scholz Ms Jane Wade Mrs Barbara Zander (Secretary)

Heritage Tours 2013: Private Châteaux of the Pays de la Loire 7 - 12 May 2013 Houses & Gardens of Southern Ireland 9 - 15 September 2013 Palazzi of Rome 16 - 20 October 2013

Cover: Château de la Barre

This page: Lismore Castle


With effect from 2013 we have made a slight change in the usual pattern of recent years when we organised some tours ourselves and used outside agents for the remaining ones. For a variety of reasons, including the limited staff availability at the International Secretariat at The Hague, we have decided to outsource the actual organisation of the tours to the welltrusted Specialtours (now part of The Ultimate Travel Company) who already for many years regularly (and exclusively in the more distant past) offered superb tours to our members. Of course, close supervision by the Heritage Tours Committee of the tour plans and their realisation will continue as hitherto, and likewise we look forward to the highly valued support from members by offering assistance with obtaining admittance to private properties. For 2013 three quite unique tours, which all centre on private houses, have been created. Rarely have we been so successful in getting entry into so many not generally accessible properties. We are very pleased that such a large number of proprietors proved willing to receive us. In May we shall visit a wonderful range of private Châteaux as well as some of the attractive towns in the Loire region. When adding the stay at the very comfortable and elegant private Château de la Barre, this tour is bound to be exceptional. Early September the focus will be on the important and fascinating Country Houses of Ireland. We shall be received by numerous owners of some of the prime estates – Irish hospitality at its best. Viewing the magnificent countryside will be a further bonus to this singular tour.

The opportunity to visit a number of the most important of the glorious private Palazzi in and around Rome is bound to be hugely appealing to many of our members. This exclusive tour will take place in the second half of October, a perfect time to visit the Eternal City. Considering that all three tours offer unique value and a rare chance to visit many outstanding places in three totally different locations, we cannot but recommend that you book very early, lest, like on some recent tours, we had to disappoint a number of our members. By joining our tours you will also contribute to the funding of our the Heritage at Risk activities and to the Hans de Koster Fund for central and eastern Europe. Finally, we should like to remind you that participants are expected to be fully capable of comfortably walking around without any restrictions. On behalf of the Heritage Tours Committee I wish you an excellent travelling season, and I hope that many of you will be joining these original tours, which have been designed especially for you.

Tom Henkemans Chairman of the Heritage Tours Committee


Private Châteaux of the Pays de la Loire 7 - 12 May 2013

Domaine de Sasnières

Participants on this tour will visit a number of little-known châteaux in the unspoilt Pays de la Loire. All these properties remain in private hands and visits and receptions will be hosted by the owners. We shall be the exclusive guests of Comte and Comtesse de Vanssay at their delightful and elegant Château de la Barre at Conflans-sur-Anille. Our stay here is preceded by one night in Paris: members will meet at the Hotel Le Lotti, centrally situated near the Place Vendôme, on the Tuesday evening for drinks followed by dinner together.

The next morning, we leave for Chartres where renowned scholar Malcolm Miller will guide our visit to the great Gothic Cathedral, focusing on the superb stained glass. We continue to Château Montmirail, in the Sarthe region, scene of an historic encounter between Henry II Plantagenet and Louis VII. The castle was altered by the Princesse de Conti, daughter of Louis XIV and our hosts, Comte and Comtesse de Buffevent, will show us the 18th-century apartments with their painted panelling. At Château de la Barre we will be welcomed by Guy de Vanssay and his American-born wife, Marnie. Together they have carefully restored and redecorated his ancestral home, which is furnished with heirloom antiques, objets d’art, and family portraits.

On Friday we will stop for a brief visit of the Abbey Cathedral at Vendôme, continuing to the majestic Château de Cheverny, on the edge of the Sologne forest, where the owners maintain a long tradition of hunting with hounds. The interior is original, with magnificent furnishings. At the neighbouring Château de Troussay, an elegant picnic lunch with the owner, Baron de SainteMarie, has been planned before our visit of this exquisite small manor house. Next, we will be shown the beautiful English-style garden of Sasnières, created by Mme Rosamée Henrion. At the little town of Montoire, we will visit the graceful Romanesque Chapelle de St Gilles, with its fine Medieval wall paintings. Dinner will be at a restaurant in the picturesque village of Lavardin. Our last full day features the lovely countryside of the Loir valley. We will drive past the Gothic Château de Courtanvaux, with its Renaissance gatehouse, to the stately Château du Lude, set in gardens on the south bank of the river. Here we will be welcomed by Comtesse de Nicolaÿ, who will show us how this elegant pleasure palace was transformed over two centuries. After a buffet lunch we return to Château de la Barre for a leisurely afternoon, followed by champagne in the Grand Salon and an elegant farewell dinner with our hosts. The next morning we shall travel back by coach to the airport in Paris.

Château de Courtanvaux

Chapelle de St Gilles

Château de Cheverny,

Price: €2,685 Single Room Supplement: €295 (limited availability) The tour price includes accommodation at a luxury hotel in Paris (1 night) and at a private château (4 nights) / all meals / ground transport by private minibus and coach / guides / entrance fees / taxes.

On Thursday, Marnie de Vanssay will accompany our visit to the well-preserved Plantagenet city of Le Mans, with its Gallo-Roman walls and medieval streets. We have been invited to lunch with Comte and Comtesse Ogier d’Ivry at the Château Chêne de Coeur, a charming 18th-century country house which is not open to the public. On our way ‘home’, we will stop to explore the enchanting Jardin du Petit Bordeaux. In the evening we shall visit and have a light supper at the Château de Poncé, with Comte and Comtesse de Malherbe. Their Renaissance castle is known for its remarkable carved stone staircase and fine hanging gardens.

The tour price is based on 18 participants. Should the number fall below 17 a supplement will be payable based on the following scale: 15-16 participants €150; 10-14 participants - €300 You will be entitled to cancel with a full refund of all monies paid if you do not agree to this. Please note that this tour is limited to a maximum of 18 participants and that only 4 rooms for single use are available.

Europa Nostra Representative: Dr. Reina van Ditzhuyzen Tour Organiser: Mrs Susie Orso The tour starts on Tuesday, 7 May at 18.00hrs at the Hotel le Lotti in Paris and ends at Charles de Gaulle Airport on Sunday, 12 May by 13.00hrs. Jardin du Petit Bordeaux



Houses & Gardens of Southern Ireland 9 - 15 September 2013

Birr Castle

The handsome Georgian capital of Dublin is our starting point for a tour of Irish country houses, concentrating on the south of Ireland. We shall assess the particular Irish qualities inherent in the decoration, furnishing and lovely landscape setting of many historic houses. For the first two nights we shall be staying at a traditional hotel, the Davenport, in Dublin. On the first evening there will be an introductory talk followed by dinner in the hotel. The following day, there will be an excursion to see the great houses of County Wicklow. Just south-west of the city is Russborough, a stately Palladian mansion in a parkland setting. The interior, with its wonderful Baroque plaster decoration, is a showcase for fine Irish furniture and silver as well as the renowned Beit art collection, with paintings by Rubens and Gainsborough.

We continue through the Wicklow Mountains to Killruddery, a ‘Tudor Revival’ house set in a late 17th century formal landscaped park, its layout of canals and hornbeam hedges inspired by the French style. Lunch will be with the Earl and Countess of Meath. Next we shall walk in the glorious Italianate gardens of Powerscourt, which have a sublime vista of the Sugar Loaf mountain. In the evening we expect to be entertained for dinner by the Hon. Desmond Guinness, the noted authority on Irish architecture and founder of the Irish Georgian Society, at his home, Leixlip Castle.

Lunch will be at Huntington Castle, the fascinating home of the Durdin-Robertson family. Nearby is Curraghmore, seat of the Marquis of Waterford, decorated by James Wyatt. The gardens contain an unusual shell house, or grotto. The following day’s programme will commence with the imposing Rock of Cashel, crowned by the shell of the 13th-century cathedral and the ornate Romanesque Cormac’s Chapel. After lunch at a private country house in the Victorian Italianate style, we will walk in the riverside gardens of Lismore Castle, including the old walled garden and the ancient yew walk.


Next, a visit to a classical Georgian house with rooms designed by Wyatt, built on the site of a Cistercian abbey, on the banks of the river Nore, is planned. Birr Castle, a 17th-century house remodelled in the Gothic taste, is known for its great yew staircase and its fine collection of pictures and furniture. We will be welcomed by the Earl and Countess of Rosse, members of Europa Nostra, who will also show us the beautiful gardens, featuring a lovely riverside walk and rare trees. Returning to Dublin on the last day, another private visit with lunch concludes our tour. Leixlip Castle (© Irish Georgian Society) The Tapestry Room, Russborough House

On our way south on Wednesday, we have been invited to lunch at a small Georgian country house, childhood home of our tour organiser, Harriet Landseer. We will be welcomed by her brother, photographer James Fennell, for lunch. Nearby is the Moone High Cross, a tall carved cross enclosed in the ruins of a 6th-century monastery founded by St Columba. We plan to include a visit to Lisnavagh, home of Lord Rathdonnell, before we reach the Kilkenny Ormonde Hotel, on the banks of the river Nore in the fine Medieval city of Kilkenny. During our stay, there will be dinners in the hotel, at a private house and at a restaurant, with one evening free.

Price: €1,995 Single Room Supplement: €250 The tour price includes accommodation in first class hotels (2 nights in Dublin & 4 nights in Kilkenny / all meals except one dinner / ground transport by private coach / guides / entrance fees / taxes. The tour price is based on 20 participants. Should the number fall below this, a supplement will be payable based on the following scale: 15-18 participants €225; 10-14 participants - €495. You will be entitled to cancel with a full refund of all monies paid if you do not agree to this.

Europa Nostra Representative: Mrs Jeanette Scholz Tour Organiser: Mrs Harriet Landseer

Near Kilkenny, we shall visit a beautifully-proportioned house embellished with fine Rococo plasterwork, considered one of the great Georgian houses of Ireland.

The tour starts on Monday, 9 September at 19.00hrs at the Davenport Hotel in Dublin and ends on Sunday, 15 September at Dublin Airport by 14.00hrs. Rock of Cashel



Palazzi of Rome 16 - 20 October 2013 We shall be staying at the Hotel Ponte Sisto, in the heart of Renaissance Rome, close to the Campo dei Fiori. The neighbouring Palazzo Farnese, designed by Antonio da Sangallo the Younger and completed by Michelangelo, is now the seat of the French Embassy. We will be given a tour of the interior, with the famous Gallery frescoed by the Carracci brothers. Later, we will have drinks at a private palace, with a welcome from members of Italia Nostra. Dinner will be at a local restaurant.

Palazzo Farnese (18th century engraving by Giuseppe Vasi)

This autumn break in Rome will feature exclusive visits to the sumptuously decorated patrician palaces of the Renaissance and Seicento. Members will have the opportunity to admire some of the magnificent art collections acquired by Roman noble families and men of the church, still displayed in the palaces for which they were commissioned. Most of the palaces we will visit remain in private hands and some would not be accessible without an introduction.

The following day we will be shown not only the splendidlydecorated Gallery and state rooms of Palazzo Colonna, but also the charming private apartment of Principessa Isabelle, in the della Rovere wing. Next we will visit Palazzo Massimo di Pirro, part of a large 16th-century complex built on the ruins of Domitian’s Odeon, where we will have lunch with Principessa Maresti Massimo. In the evening Marchese Corso Patrizi will host a private visit and dinner at his family home, Palazzo Patrizi, which has a magnificent art collection.

In the afternoon, we have been granted permission, in principle, to visit the celebrated ‘Quadreria’ or Picture Gallery of Palazzo Pallavicini, assembled by Cardinal Lazzaro Pallavicini in the 17th century. Later, members have been invited to drinks at a private home. The rest of the evening is free. By way of contrast, an excursion outside the city centre is planned for the Saturday. We will pass the stunning new Museo Maxxi, by Zaha Hadid, on our way north to Caprarola to visit the famous gardens of Palazzo Farnese. There will be a private visit and lunch at Castello Ruspoli, with Principessa Giada Ruspoli. Returning to Rome we will include a visit to the splendid Baroque gardens of Villa Lante. Later, we will dine at the Circolo della Caccia, an exclusive private club in the Palazzo Borghese, which was acquired by Camillo Borghese, the future Pope Paul V, in 1596.

Sala Grande, Palazzo Colonna

On the last morning we will walk to the vast Palazzo DoriaPamphilj, where we will visit the Gallery, with the family art collection, including masterpieces by Caravaggio and Velásquez. The grand finale will be lunch with Marchesa Taliani at the Villa Habsburg, set in a large garden just within the Aurelian walls.

Palazzo Sacchetti

Palazzo Patrizi

Price: €2,545 Single Room Supplement: €380 The tour price includes accommodation at a comfortable 4-star hotel in central Rome (4 nights) / all meals except one dinner / ground transport by private minibus and coach / guides / entrance fees / taxes.

On Friday morning we will visit the Baroque Palazzo Spada, hung with works of art collected by Cardinal Bernardino Spada and, subject to special permission, the adjacent ‘Consiglio di Stato’. We will also be shown the richly-decorated piano nobile of the Palazzo Sacchetti, which was designed by Sangallo and acquired by the family in the mid 17th century. Nearby is Palazzo Taverna, where we will visit the Baroque wing, prior to lunch with Marchesa Guerrieri Gonzaga, whose apartment has a spectacular view of Rome.

The tour price is based on 20 participants. Should the number fall below this, a supplement will be payable based on the following scale: 15-18 participants €280; 10-14 participants - €495. You will be entitled to cancel with a full refund of all monies paid if you do not agree to this.

Europa Nostra Representative: Mr Tom Henkemans Tour Organiser: Miss Frances Roxburgh The tour starts on Wednesday, 16 October at 16.45hrs at the Hotel Ponte Sisto in Rome and ends on Sunday, 20 October at Rome Fiumicino airport by 15.30hrs. Villa Farnese, Caprarola



Europa Nostra The Voice of Cultural Heritage in Europe In a globalised world cultural heritage is vital to a better understanding and a deeper respect between Europe's citizens. Cultural heritage builds bridges between past, present and future generations, and represents beauty, enchantment and meaning, all vital elements in everybody's life. In 50 years, Europa Nostra has built a pan-European network of 250 member organisations (heritage associations and foundations with a combined membership of more than five milliuon people), 150 associated organisations (governmental bodies, local authorities and corporations) and also 1500 individual members who directly support our mission. Europa Nostra is a partner of the European Union, the Council of Europe and UNESCO in heritage matters. We celebrate the best of cultural heritage achievements through our annual awards, we campaign against the many threats to Europe's built and natural heritage, and we offer opportunities for sharing your cultural heritage experiences and concerns through our network, website, magazines and public debates. The Europa Nostra Heritage Tours are exclusively created for, and especially tailored to, Europa Nostra's Individual Members and offer high quality and value. Members of Europa Nostra Member Organisations may also join these tours. Every booking on these tours financially benefits the Hans de Koster Mobility Fund for Central and Eastern Europe as well as activities related to heritage in danger. For full details about Europa Nostra's activities, please visit our website:


Making a Booking Making a booking As places on each of the three tours are limited, especially single accommodation, we recommend that initially you telephone us on 0044 (0)20 7386 4690 or email us on to make a reservation. Thereafter, please complete the booking form and forward it to The Ultimate Travel Company Limited, together with your nonrefundable deposit of €300 per person (see booking form) made payable to The Ultimate Travel Company Limited. If you are booking less than 8 weeks prior to departure the full cost of the tour is payable. On receipt of your booking form and deposit we will confirm your booking in writing, then no less than 8 weeks before departure we shall send you further information relevant to the tour you have booked, together with a final invoice which will also show any surcharges due (if applicable). You must pay the invoice within 14 days of the invoice date otherwise we reserve the right to treat the booking as cancelled and apply the cancellation conditions as set out below. Your travel documents will be dispatched approximately 7/10 days before the date on which the tour actually begins.

Fitness to travel Whilst we do not impose any age limitations on joining a tour, participants must be reasonably fit. The very nature of the sightseeing involved in our tours (and the difficulties of direct access by coach in various places) means that a considerable amount of walking and standing is unavoidable on almost all tours. We regret that our tours are not suitable for people who have difficulty in walking, may require wheelchair assistance at any time, or are unable to keep pace with the group. If you are in any doubt as to the suitability of a tour, please make this known to us before you book and we will advise you accordingly. The Ultimate Travel Company reserves the right to decline a reservation without necessarily giving a reason.

Passport, Visas & Health All tour participants are personally responsible for ensuring that they have a valid passport / identity card, relevant visa/s and conform to the health regulations required by the country/s that will be visited during the tour.

Booking Conditions The tours featured in this brochure are operated by Specialtours at The Ultimate Travel Company Limited, which is registered in England under company number 3528325. Suppliers The Ultimate Travel Company Limited acts only as agent for the owners of accommodation and services provided, for all carriers by air or otherwise and for road transport proprietors, and all bookings must be accepted subject to the ticket or transport conditions and regulations of the carriers or transport proprietors, and also subject to the laws of the country in which such carriage or other facility is required.

Cancellation You or any member of your party may cancel your tour at any time providing that the cancellation is made by the person who signed the booking form and is communicated in writing. Cancellation charges, based upon the length of time prior to departure when said cancellation is received, will apply. The sum due, shown below, is stated as a percentage of the total holiday cost. More than 60 days Deposit More than 22 days 50% More than 15 days 75% 14 days or less 100% If you are obliged to cancel you may, with reasonable notice, transfer your booking to a third party who satisfies any conditions necessary to take that tour; in which case we reserve the right to levy an administration charge.

Alterations by The Ultimate Travel Company We will do our utmost to provide the tour arrangements that have been confirmed, but we must retain the right to modify or cancel any tour, flight schedule, accommodation or arrangement should unforeseen circumstances amounting to ‘force majeure’ arise. In such circumstance we will inform you as soon as possible, and, should the change be such that it alters the nature of the tour, we will give you the choice of an alternative tour or a full refund of all monies paid. In recognition we will absorb all financial loss, except personal expenditure, consequent upon cancellation due to ‘force majeure’. We shall not cancel any tour for reason of political tension or natural disaster unless specifically recommended to do so by the relevant government office.

Tour Cancellation The price of a tour is based on a varying minimum number of passengers travelling. If the minimum number is not reached, at least 8 weeks prior to the scheduled departure date we will either cancel the tour and offer a full refund, or we may propose a supplementary charge which, subject to passengers agreement, will enable the tour to operate.

Our Liabilities We do not exclude or limit any liability to our clients which may arise from proven negligence by any person employed directly by us or by our suppliers and subcontractors, servants or agents of the same whilst acting in the course or their employment (other than air and sea carriers performing any domestic internal or international carriage of whatsoever kind) in respect of death, bodily injury or illness. Such liabilities shall be subject to English law and all proceedings shall be within the exclusive domain of the English courts.We shall endeavour to afford general assistance to our clients in the event of illness, injury or death during the period of the tour. We accept responsibility for ensuring that all parts of the tour are supplied as described and that all services shall reach a reasonable standard. These obligations and responsibilities shall be limited to where international conventions in respect of air or sea carriers apply. We do not assume responsibility for loss or expense due to war, riot, strike, terrorist activity or natural disaster.

Travel Insurance We believe travel insurance is essential and reserve the right to cancel a booking if cover is not obtained. Care should be taken to ensure you have adequate cover particularly for cancellation and emergency repatriation in the event of medical problems.

Complaints & Arbitration We endeavour to resolve any complaints on the spot, however if the matter cannot be resolved please write our Executive Director, Martin Thompson, within 14 days of the end of the tour. We will endeavour to resolve the problem as promptly as possible. In the unlikely event that the problem is not amicably resolved the case may be referred to arbitration, if the customer so wishes, under a special Scheme arranged by the Association of British Travel Agents and provided by CEDR Solve, Europe's leading commercial and workplace mediation service. The scheme provides for a simple and inexpensive method of arbitration on documents alone with restricted liability on the customer in respect of costs. The Scheme does not apply to claims for an amount greater than £5,000 per person. There is also a limit of £25,000 per booking form. Neither does it apply to claims which are solely in respect of physical injury or illness or their consequences. The Scheme can however deal with compensation claims which include an element of minor injury or illness subject to a limit of £1,000 on the amount the arbitrator can award per person in respect of this element. The application for arbitration and Statement of Claim must be received by ABTA, who will forward them to CEDR Solve, within eighteen months of the date of return from the holiday. Outside this time limit arbitration under the Scheme may still be available if the company agrees, but the ABTA Code does not require such agreement. Full details will be provided on request or can be obtained from the ABTA website (

Credit Card Payments We do have the facility to accept payment by some credit and debit cards. Deposit payments can be made by credit or debit card free of charge. Balance payments can also be made free of charge by debit card but will attract a levy of 2% of the value of the relevant payment if made by credit card. Please note that all credit / debit card payments will be deducted in sterling.

Baggage & Personal Effects These remain your responsibility and risk at all times.

Tour Leaders The tour leader, in conjunction with the appropriate medical advice if applicable and in consultation with Europa Nostra, has the right to disqualify any client at any time during the course of the tour, if considered necessary for the medical well being or safety of the individual or in the tour leader’s opinion, the client’s actions are materially affecting the enjoyment of the tour for the remainder of the group. Any decision with regard to any reimbursement for any part of the tour not completed will be decided between the Managing Director of The Ultimate Travel Company Limited and the tour leader.

Data Protection Statement Please be assured that we have measures in place to protect the personal booking information held by us. Full details of our data protection policy are available upon request.


For further details and reservations, please contact: 0044 (0)20 7386 4690 or

Specialtours at The Ultimate Travel Company 25 - 27 Vanston Place, London SW6 1AZ T 0044 (0) 20 7386 4690 E

Heritage Tours 2013  
Heritage Tours 2013  

Castles and houses in the Loire region (7-12 May 2013) Houses & Gardens of Southern Ireland (9-15 September 2013) Palazzi of Rome (16-20 Oc...