Visit Chateau de Vendeuvre
Gardens of the Chateau de Vendeuvre
The Chateau de Vendeuvre is in the Vendeuvre department in Normandy.
These gardens are the inspiration of the Count of Vendeuvre who has been influenced by the renaissance gardens of Italy and particularly their use of water. The gardens have been classified as one of France's "Remarkable Gardens".
The gardens of the Chateau de Vendeuvre include a French formal garden with parterres, water and water jets and a backdrop of the hills of the Pays d' Auge.
There is an exotic garden featuring bananas and agavas, citrus and fig trees and a collection of succulents and papyrus.
The water garden is filled with lots of suprises and different uses of water. The inspiration for the different water features comes from myths and folklore. One water feature is a 'cascade des tortues' or 'tortoise waterfall' which is very charming.
Tortoises play a part in the legends of many cultures but in the Chateau de Vendeuvre they represent a Central American legend where, following a severe drought, sacred tortoises were placed on the roofs of temples and houses. They called out the name of the rain god - Chaac, who allowed the tortoises to spurt forth water and end the drought.
There is an unusual utility garden with a lovely pyramid designed to store ice before the days of refrigerators (see photo above). Also in the utility garden is the vegetable garden and a fish pond.
There are also two labyrinths. A relatively small formal labyrinth made of yew hedges and white roses, and also a large informal one great for children. Inside this labyrinth, which covers one hectare,are several pavillions, pagodas and topiaries. Children will love the 'hunt the rabbit' which takes place in this labyrinth.
Chateau de Vendeuvre Garden Guide:
The Chateau de Vendeuvre is in the commune of Vendeuvre near to Lisieux in Normandy. It is south of Caen. The castle has been open to the public since 1983.
The garden is open for the Tulip Festival every afternoon in April 14h - 18h.
Garden opening is every day in May to September 11h - 18h and Sundays and bank holidays in October from 14 - 18h.
Entrance to the gardens (as well as the castle kitchens and the dog kennels) costs 8.50 euros for adults and 7 euros for children. For a couple of euros more you can also see the chateau and the miniature furniture collection.
Chateau de Vendeuvre Address: Jardins et Chateau de Vendeuvre, 14170 Vendeuvre
Gardens to visit nearby
The Jardins du Pays d'Auge are a series of beautiful gardens set around various traditional buildings and the ensemble is absolutely charming. The Chateau de Boutemont is another charming garden with a lovely pond.
You can find more local travel ideas in the guide.