The Magnificent Gardens of Marqueyssac

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The town of Vézac in the Dordogne region of France is home to one of the world’s most magnificent landscapes, the famed Gardens of Marqueyssac. Laid out on a cliff overlooking the Dordogne valley between Beynac and La Roque-Gageac, the Marqueyssac gardens cover an area of ​​22 hectares. There are over 150,000 hand carved century-old box-trees and adorned with belvederes, rocks, water, grass glades, dry-stone huts, roundabout, a Gothic chapel, and playgrounds for children.

The chateau and the garden surrounding it was built at the end of the 17th century by Bertrand Vernet de Marqueyssac, Counselor to Louis XIV, on cliffs overlooking the Dordogne Valley. The original garden à la française was attributed to a pupil of André Le Nôtre, and featured terraces, alleys, and a kitchen garden surrounding the chateau. Between 1830 and 1840, Julien Bessières constructed a chapel and a grand alley one hundred meters long for horseback rides.

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In the 1860s, the new owner, Julien de Cervel, began to plant thousands of boxwood trees and had them carved in fantastic shapes, many in groups of rounded shapes like flocks of sheep. He also added linden trees, cypress trees, and stone pine from Italy, and introduced the cyclamen from Naples. Following the romantic style, he built rustic structures, redesigned the parterres, and laid out five kilometers of walks.

In the second half 20th century the house was not frequented occupied, and the gardens were not well maintained. Beginning in 1996, a new owner, Kleber Rossillon, restored the gardens to their old character, and added some new features, including an alley of santolina and rosemary, and, in the romantic spirit of the 19th century, a course of water descending from the belvedere and ending in a cascade. The gardens were opened to the public in 1996.

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2 comments:

  1. Makes me think of the red queens croquet grounds

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  2. I had seen photos of this garden on Pinterest, and placed this number 1 on our list of things to see in the Dordogne. We were entranced by this magical place from the first moment we entered the gardens. The misty day added to the romantic feeling of this surreal place, and although there was one bus tour yosemite tour from san francisco there when we arrived, they soon scattered and left when it began to lightly rain. The rain stopped quickly, and we actually found ourselves alone, experiencing a sublime peace and tranquility. Even the peacocks were willing to pose for us, in a photographer's dream landscape.

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