Jardins de Marqueyssac, Dordogne
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Explore the Hanging Gardens of Marqueyssac
The gardens of Marqueyssac are the most visited gardens in Aquitaine and no wonder! The dominant feature in the garden is its remarkable boxwood topiares which are trimmed into swirls and balls and cones and a design of amazing beauty.
The most elaborate box shapes are near to the chateau and really every twist in the path reveals a new angle. The gardens really are superbly photogenic (as you will notice on sites such as Instagram) and the vivid green of the box hedges is really striking.
Close to the chateau, which is open for visits, you will also see the aviary with various pigeon species and apparently there are peacocks which roam the gardens though we didn't see any on our visit. A recent addition is the skeleton of a 7.5 meter long dinosaur displayed to signal the fact that dinosaurs once roamed these parts.
As you move away from the chateau the garden extends along a rocky promontory overlooking the dordogne and three paths through the woods lead to the Belvedere 800 meters from the chateau. From the belvedere you can get stunning views across to La Roque-Gageac and over the Perigord countryside.
One path passses the lovely arbour where you can sit and enjoy tea and coffee with pastries or lunch on a sunny day. An attractive tea room is open if you prefer to sit indoors. From here a navette can take you along the widest path to the belvedere.
If you prefer a walk lovley woodland paths meander along the cliff top. Box plants are never far away with other plants and trees interspersed in a very natural manner. Various attractions are spread out along the way including these quirky stone heads hidden amongst the trees!
A traditional stone cabin with a stone roof and a kiosk with activities for children can also be discovered. There is also an outdoor playground for children, a climbing school, a labyrinth and an arts and crafts workshop at peak times.
As well as the wood with their naturalistic plantings of boxwoods and the "boxwood chaos" near the chateau there are also alleys lined with rosemary and santolina and ornamental trees such as Judas trees, liburnums and umbrella pines.
The chateau is also open for visits. From the outside you can see one of its most striking features, a roof made of stone! This is a traditional roof of the area though there are not many left any more due to the weight of the stone. The roof on the chateau weighs 500 tonnes!
Inside the chateau the salon has been decorated in Empire style along with the dining room and bedroom.
Visiting the Jardins suspendus de Marqueyssac
The gardens are open every day. In the winter the gardens are open afternoons only and from February to 12 November from 10am to 6pm as a minimum and longer in mid and high season.
Entrance is 9 euros for adults and 4.50 for 10/17s.
In June, July and August the garden is open every Thursday for evening visits. 2000 candles light up the paths and pianists, saxophone quartets, jazz groups and more animate different parts of the garden. It is a magical visit not to be missed if you are here in the summer. An evening visit costs 14.50 euros for adults and 7 euros for 10/17s.
Visits begin at 19.00 (note they are cancelled in bad weather).
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Address: , Dordogne, Aquitaine, , France || GPS: latitude 44.823889, longitude 1.162778
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Sightseeing & tourist attractions to visit nearby
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- Jardins du château de Caudon: remarkable garden (5 km)
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- Sarlat: town of art and history (9 km)
- Jardin de Conty: remarkable garden (9 km)
- Belves: most beautiful village (14 km)
- Eglise Notre Dame de l'Assomption (Belves): religious monument (14 km)
- Jardin de la Daille: remarkable garden (15 km)