FROM THE HEART
10 Lavish Monuments to Love
Who said it's the thought that counts? Throughout history, romantics have constructed elaborate monuments to show just how much they cared—though the love-story endings weren't always so happy.
Chandor Gardens, Weatherford, Tex.: An Englishman's floral tribute to his Texas bride
Douglas Chandor, who painted portraits of luminaries like Winston Churchill and the British royal family, fell for Ina Kuteman Hill, a young lady from Weatherford, Tex., about 40 minutes outside Fort Worth. After they married in the 1930s, the couple moved to her hometown, where Douglas channeled his artistic talents into creating this 3.5-acre passion project. Work continued until Douglas's death in 1953; the gardens were carved out of what was once rocky terrain and cow pastures, and then filled with a series of walkways, tiered fountains, a grotto, labyrinths, and Chinese- and English-style arrangements. After Ina's death in the 1970s, the sanctuary went into some decline, until a local couple and restored it to its former glory. These days, the Chandor Gardens and family home are open for tours and for weddings. Garden open daily, adults $5, children 12 and under free (house tours are extra), 817/613-1700, ci.weatherford.tx.us.
• Related: 10 Engaging Spots for Popping the Question
Mirabell Palace and Gardens, Salzburg, Austria: An ornate mansion that inspired a couple's 15 babies
This baroque mansion and its accompanying gardens were a lavish gift from Prince Archbishop Wolf Dietrich von Raitenau to his mistress, Salome Alt (hence the original name, Altenau Palace, or Schloss Altenau). After working its magic on those lovebirds—who eventually had 15 children—the place was passed down to subsequent Prince Archbishops, each of whom made his own changes to the site. The massive Salzburg fire of 1818 prompted another round of rebuilding. While the current palace bears little resemblance to von Raitenau's original, visitors can still spy an 18th-century staircase replete with carvings and sculptures, an elaborate marble grand hall, ornate stucco work, and the gorgeous gardens. The main building now houses government offices, while concerts, weddings, and other events are regularly held on the grounds. You may recognize the gorgeous gardens, filled with topiary, statues, and fountains, from the "Do-Re-Mi " number in The Sound of Music. Palace open Monday–Friday, gardens open daily, free, 011-43/662-8072-0, visit-salzburg.net.
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