Archive for May 2nd, 2019

May 2, 2019

Garenne park, garden of Vannes!

So can’t get away from Vannes, my capital city of the Morbihan dept 56 of my pretty Brittany. I worked just outside in an old castle ruins of 1504 where we are HQ world, but do not seen to tell you enough of this Vannes; intact without damages for centuries original!

I have giving you some tidbits on the parks and garden along the ramparts of old Vannes, but feel not enough ,therefore ,here is a blog post on them, enjoy it as we do.

The Garenne Park or Garenne garden, or promenade de la Garenne (not to be confuse with the end note on the ramparts sometimes also call Garenne garden)  is a public park in Vannes. The garden is bounded to the north by the Jardin d’Accreditation of the Prefecture govt building (smaller), to the east by the rue de Saint-Tropez, to the south by  Rue Jehan-de-Bazvalan and to the west Reu Francis-Decker. Access to the Park is done by Francis-Decker, Jehan-de-Bazvalan and Alexandre-Le-Pontois streets. This Park is considered the oldest in the city

A bit of history I like

The Garenne is a salient that projects northwards to the hill of Calmont. The sea, which in the Middle Ages extended to the district of Saint-Patern, where it mixed with the waters of various streams, then bathed the steep flanks of this spur covered with thick vegetation of ajoncs and brushwood. The land belonged since the 12C to the Abbey of Saint-Gildas of Rhuys (see my other post on it), which had formed the partial endowment of its Priory of Saint-Guen. During the construction of the Hermine castle, around 1380, Duke Jean IV seized the Garenne to make it a part of the park of the Castle, an immense park since it stretched to the port.

After the Union of Brittany with France, it became the property of the Kings of France, which then left its use to the Captains and Governors of the city. After ceded, in 1569 a portion to the hospital Saint-Nicolas, then in 1635 the northern lands (now occupied by the Hotel de Préfecture and its gardens) to the Dominicans to establish a convent, only the top of the Garenne and its slopes to the city remain in the Royal domain.

After the revolt of the stamped paper (against king Louis XIV on raising taxes and also known as the Bonnet Rouges or Red Caps), the Parliament of Brittany was transferred to Vannes in 1674. The parliamentarians and their suites then demanded a set of landscaped walks. The project is abandoned several times for lack of means after some work was started. The development work resumed seriously in the middle of the 18C. The western monumental fence and staircase walls are built in 1749. In 1752, the work accelerated, the community decided to employ the needy in the development of the Garenne. The work thus insured the finished by December 3, 1753.

A bit on the laid out of the Garenne park-garden

Except for some improvements or refinements carried out later , particularly on the plateau which, originally, was a sloping plane descending by a uniform slope from the Hospice to the wall of the Prefecture park, the promenade de la Garenne or park or garden had, therefore, from 1753, the appearance and the provisions it presents today.


The Garenne garden stretches over an area of about 27 000 m2. It is marked by a steep elevation of about 20 meters between its lowest part to the west and its highest part in the center of the plateau. The western part presents itself as a succession of terraces traversed by aisles and planted with large alignments of trees. The eastern part, corresponding to the plateau, is arranged as a large square of circular arms, surrounded by flowerbeds. There are two playgrounds.


In the center of the park stands the Monument aux  Morts (mon to the fallen)  of the city. It is composed of a large column surmounted by a winged victory. Four lion heads flank the corners. The tomb of an anonymous resistant is dug at the foot of this column in 1945 and four stelae bearing the names of the victims of  WWII are inaugurated in 1947.



The ramparts of Vannes are the fortifications erected between the 3C and 17C to protect the city of Vannes. Founded by the Romans at the end of the 1C BC, during the reign of Augustus, the Civitas Venetorum was forced to protect itself behind a castrum at the end of the 3C, even though a major crisis shook the Roman Empire. This first enclosure remains the only protection of the city for more than a millennium. It was at the time of Duke Jean IV, at the end of the 14C, that the city walls were rebuilt and extended southwards to protect the new neighborhoods. The Duke wanted  to make Vannes not only a place of residence but also a strong hold  on which he can rely in case of conflict. The area of the Intra-muros city is doubled and the Duke adds to the new enclosure his fortress of the Hermine castle.


The garden of the ramparts, or Garenne the garden is bounded to the west by the ramparts of the old town, to the south by the rue de la Porte Poterne and to the east by the Marle river, and the rue Francis-Decker.


At the beginning of the 20C, the space between the eastern portions of the ramparts of Vannes and the Marle river is occupied by washes and orchards. After WWII, the city gradually acquired these lands. Opened at the beginning of the1950, the French garden contributes to the development of the fortified heritage of the city.  The garden stretches over an area of about 15 000 m2 and requires the planting and maintenance of 30 000 flowers every year. A playground covers the northern part, on the side of the Porte Prison.



The Garenne or ramparts garden is home to the “Côté Jardin” flower garden event every year in May since 2006. The Livr’à Vannes book fair is organized in the garden every year in June since 2008.

City of Vannes on the Garenne ramparts park garden

City of Vannes on Garenne park

Lovely to walk amongt history and beautiful architecture intact from as far back as the 14C! This is a must in Vannes, we go and past by just to see it every week. The Garenne whatever is a park, garden , walk or ramparts is awesome!

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

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