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Visit Parc Oriental de Maulevrier
The Parc Oriental de Maulevrier is located in Maulevrier in the Maine-et-Loire department of France. This beautiful park is the largest Japanese garden in France. Winner of the second prize for the best park in France competition 2006. The park is one of France's 'Jardins Remarquable'.
Explore the Parc Oriental de Maulevrier
Originally designed by Alexander Marcel, a leading French architect at the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th Century.
Marcel married the daughter of the owners of the chateau at Maulevrier and as he and many of the fashionable crowd of the time were inspired by all things oriental he designed a Japanese garden for his new family.
Marcel had designed three pavilions for the 1900 Universal Exhibition at Paris and he bought some parts of these works for his gardens at Maulevrier.
Marcel and his wife spent some of their married lives at the chateau but upon their deaths the gardens fell into decline.
In 1980 the commune bought the park and restored it using photographs and memories of people who had seen the park. Originally called the Park of Chateau Colbert it was renamed as the Parc Oriental de Maulevrier in 1985.
Japanese professors from the horticultural studies at Tokyo and Niigata universities have recognised the gardens as having the style of the EDO period of gardening in Japan (XVIe- XIXe siècles).
The park covers 29 hectares and is very beautiful, notably perhaps in spring for the camellias, azaleas and rhododendrons and autumn for the lovely autumn colour of the Acers.
The park has a greenhouse which is used to exhibit a collection of bonsai trees. There is also a shop selling bonzai trees and associated equipment as well as a nursery selling Japanese plants and plants suited to a Japanese style garden. There is a tea shop on site and you can sit inside or outside to enjoy your tea break. Some of the seats are next to a pond containing koi carp.
Parc Oriental de Maulévrier Garden Guide
The Oriental Park of Maulevrier is near the town of Cholet in the Maine and Loire department of France.
The garden is open:
March, April, October and November: 14.00-18.00 every day except Mondays. Open until 19.00 on Sundays.
May, June and September: 14.00-18.00 every day and 10.30-19.00 on Sundays
July, August: every day 10.30-19.30
During May to September the park is open some nights for night time visits. The park has been beautifully lit and these visits have a whole different atmosphere to day time visits. The days change each year and so contact the park for details.
Visits cost 7.00 euros for adults and 6.00 for over 12s. Night time visits are 10 euros for adults and 8 euros for over 12s.
Address: Parc Oriental de Maulévrier - Route de Mauléon, 49360 Maulevrier
Tel: (33) 2 41 55 50 14
Gardens to Visit Nearby
The nearby town of Cholet has an attractive public garden, the Parc de Moine, which covers 7 hectares and includes well-stocked borders and pretty walks by the river Moine.
There is another Japanese garden in the heart of Nantes, the Ille de Versailles garden.
You can find more local travel ideas in the guide.