Gardens were created by Charlotte de Mancip and her husband Jean de Buisson who commissioned the building of Château de Bournazel. Their design was most likely conceived by the architect who was involved in the second campaign of building work at the château which began in 1545.

Destroyed during the French Wars of Religion and then abandoned over the centuries, the gardens have been recreated based on extensive archaeological excavations and archival investigation.

The result of skilful geometrical research, their layout takes up the proportions of the large ‘Serlienne’ façade of the East Wing. They are composed of two very distinct spaces. On the one side, the orchard and on the other, the formal ‘walled garden’ containing parterres, labyrinth, fountains, formal pool and a garden of ‘rooms’.

Beyond the geometry of the composition, the 9 parterres of the ‘walled garden’ evoke, in fragments, the personalities of the two inventors of this magical place. In this respect the garden takes on the dual function of an expression of beauty as well as an instructive tool for the ‘education of the prince’. Each parterre is designed to represent a symbolic quality valued by the cultured minds of the Renaissance, including amongst others ‘honour’, ‘bravery’ and ‘beautiful spirit’. Conceived as a series of steps that can be followed in any order, it offers a sort of courtier’s game as the visitor moves from one symbolic parterre to the next. In this way the garden is allegorical path in which a very clear message by which the ‘education of the prince’ is delivered. 

Since January 2019, the gardens have been classified ‘Jardin Remarquable’ by the French Ministry of Culture.


Bournazel Château & Garden

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