In the French town of Vézac, in the Dorgogne Department, you may find one of the most magnificent places on Earth. This is famous Gardens of Marqueyssac, which is a part of Château de Marqueyssac complex. The castle, erected in the XVII century, rises above the picturesque valley of the Dordogne.


Marqueyssac

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Marqueyssac

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The round shape of the bushes were created more than 300 years ago and. Maintenance staff still keeps this unique design in its original form. Linden trees, cypresses, boxwood, cyclamen from Naples and Italian stone pine grow in the garden.

Marqueyssac

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Marqueyssac

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Marqueyssac

Photo: Esther Westerveld/flickr (CC BY 2.0)

 

Marqueyssac

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Marqueyssac

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Marqueyssac

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The original design of the garden was created by a pupil of André Le Nôtre, the famous designer of the Palace of Versailles. But the modern appearance, recognized all over the world, was created by amateur Julien de Cervel, a judge who inherited the Château in 1861. He was fond of Italy and its nature, so cyclamen from Naples, stone pines and boxwoods appeared in his garden.

Marqueyssac

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Marqueyssac

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Marqueyssac

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The intricate labyrinth of the garden consists of 150 thousands of old boxwoods. These evergreen shrubs are still cut by hand. The total length of shady avenues is more than 6 kilometers. That’s where you’d want to get lost!

Marqueyssac

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Marqueyssac

Photo: Edwin van Buuringen/flickr (CC BY 2.0)

 

Marqueyssac

Photo: By Ladislaus Hoffner, from Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 4.0)

In the 20th century the Marqueyssac Gardens gradually came to desolation. Nobody took care of centuries-old boxwoods. And only in 1996 the descendants of Julien de Cerval decided to restore the former magnificence of the place. A great restoration work was carried out in the park and on the castle. It took three years, although the garden was opened for visitors already in 1997. The tourist route passes by the Belvedere pavilion, located above the river, by the ancient chapel and, of course, throughout the gorgeous garden itself. The length of the route is about 5 kilometers.

Marqueyssac

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Marqueyssac

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Marqueyssac

Photo: By Ladislaus Hoffner, from Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 4.0)

 

Marqueyssac

Photo: By Krzysztof Golik, from Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 4.0)

 

In July and August you may join the special excursions ” Marqueyssac’s Candlelight Nights”. While darkness sets in gently over the valley… More than 2,000 candles and a multitude of light sources defy the twilight to make the Gardens of Marqueyssac shine under the stars. It creates absolutely unique fantastic and romantic atmosphere. Don’t forget to take your children to this special event: experienced animators will entertain them.

Marqueyssac

Photo: Les jardins de Marqueyssac © Laugery-Bordeaux (Used under permission of copyright owner)

 

Marqueyssac

Photo: Les jardins de Marqueyssac © Laugery-Bordeaux (Used under permission of copyright owner)

 

Marqueyssac

Photo: Les jardins de Marqueyssac © Laugery-Bordeaux (Used under permission of copyright owner)

Nowadays only five gardeners work to maintain the amazing splendor. Experts say that boxwoods still preserve the same shape created by Julien de Cerval decades ago. The Gardens of Marqueyssac have been classified amongst the Notable Gardens of France.

Marqueyssac

Photo: Les jardins de Marqueyssac © Laugery-Bordeaux (Used under permission of copyright owner)

 

Marqueyssac

Photo: Les jardins de Marqueyssac © Laugery-Bordeaux (Used under permission of copyright owner)

 

Marqueyssac

Photo: Esther Westerveld/flickr (CC BY 2.0)

 

Marqueyssac

Photo: Les jardins de Marqueyssac © Laugery-Bordeaux (Used under permission of copyright owner)

 

Marqueyssac

Photo: Les jardins de Marqueyssac © Laugery-Bordeaux (Used under permission of copyright owner)

How to get to the Gardens of Marqueyssac:

The Gardens of Marquessac are located quite far from the big cities, so it may be difficult to find a bus or a train to this point. Try the following route: take a plane or a train to Toulouse and rent a car right at the airport or at the railway station.

Hotels near the Gardens of Marqueyssac:

Gardens of Marqueyssac on map: