French garden

Set in the heart of the Haute Vallée de Chevreuse Regional Natural Park (Parc naturel régional de la Haute Vallée de Chevreuse), the gardens of Château de Breteuil became listed by the French Ministry of Culture as 'Remarkable Gardens'. The magnificent Park, which covers 300 acres, is the perfect place to enjoy walks which become a magical process of discovery.

The French style Garden forms a magnificent backdrop to the castle. This garden owes much to Henri de Breteuil, grand-father of the current Marquis de Breteuil who, from 1897 to 1903, with the help of the French landscape architects Henri and Achille Duchêne, redesigned the gardens to provide the Château with the formal majestic setting that visitors see today. The two brothers created glorious views both to and from the castle, especially when an ornamental lake called 'Water Mirror', dominating the Vallée de Chevreuse, came into being. They redesigned and renovated the lawns and paths, borders were planted with yew mosaics and topiary bushes. The French Garden is reminiscent, on a smaller scale, of the Parterre d'Eau at Versailles Palace, created by its famous landcape designer André Le Nôtre. While introducing this classical style, the Duchêne brothers retained much of the original layout. The Cedar of Lebanon, planted in the times of Queen Marie-Antoinette, fits in perfectly well with the surroundings, as well as the Medieval Dovecote. It was a major economic resource at the time, with the dove-gray which was a well-known fertilizer. Nowadays, this magnificently restored Dovecote displays an exhibition 'Breteuil à table': ten famous paintings depicting meals and their exquisite models made by Brigitte Duboc.

In the French Garden, there are numerous points of interest.

On the south side of the casle, you will admire:

  • the formal symmetrical scrollwork parterres in box and yew. kept in pristine condition, in the main courtyard. of the castle.

On the north side:

  • the Water Mirror dominating the Chevreuse Valley, with its statues, yews and box-hedges, each of them trimmed using spirit-levels, and string, as well as many hours of dedicated hard work,
  • the Yew Mosaic,
  • the green carpet and frog marsh, 'Grenouillère' with its panoramic view
  • the Medieval Dovecote with the 'Breteuil à Table' exhibition.


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