A garden, bishops and Bourges!

And of course after rambling thru the town of Bourges and seeing so much beauty we came to a garden while passing by the museum of best craftsmen of France and just behind the Cathedral St Stephens (St Etienne). This was a welcome sight after so much walk and the history of it is nice.

Let me tell you a bit more on the City/town hall garden or Bishop’s garden depending if you are new or old… At Bourges in the Cher dept 18 of the Centre Val de Loire region.

The Archiepiscopal Palace 17C, former city/town hall, and its French-style garden ,the Bishops garden is a nice place to walk by and soak in on the history and architecture available at Bourges.

Originally, this small garden was inside the medieval town, on the edge of the ramparts. It was effectively enlarged by filling in the ditches located to the North, and enclosing in walls ,the ditch and the escarpment which joined the southern end of the Church Notre-Dame-de-Salles to the Porte de Bourbonnoux. But it was an area with fortifications and it depended on the royal domain, hence the request that will be made to king Louis XIV in 1681 which gives his agreement with the condition, the construction of a wall of 4 meters high above the ground floor and about 2 meters thick in its foundation, with the additional space for a small parapet to allow the passage of patrols in wartime. Elementary indeed!

In 1686, it will be close in one enclosure, the elms which had been planted by the mayor Mr. Hémeré and 1654, the street known as of Hémerettes comes from the name of this mayor. Finally, this land is donated by the city. The wall is then made of La Celle stone, the height is about 5 meters. It was in 1729 after some time, had this space landscaped. It was in 1793 that the episcopal palace became the property of the department and the garden was then a public walk.

The garden of the City/Town Hall or Bishops’ garden, with an area of 3 hectares, is beautifully flowered in all seasons. It includes a part called “à la française” (French style), and the other, with big trees and a bandstand is called “à l’anglaise” (English style). You will notice the Obelisk, at the bottom, near the monumental gates recovered from the Porte d’Auron. In addition to the memory of Stendhal, the garden of the City/Town Hall contains the busts of two locals, Bourdaloue and Sigaud de Laffond. The first pays homage to the inventor preacher of the night vase which bears his name and the second character is unfairly little known, he is the author of treatises on “the art of childbirth”, women owe him a lot. The 4 vases of Cugnot, called the four seasons are works dating from 1880, they had been manufactured by Maison Christofle, they are in galvanic bronze, while the magnificent cherubs, above the dome, are in real bronze.


Legend has it that in his current design the garden was signed by the great landscaper André Le Nôtre. This is an implausible hypothesis since Le Nôtre, to whom we owe the parterres of Vaux le Vicomte and those of Versailles died in 1700, and the Bourges garden in its current structure was only completed 30 years later. However, the classicism of the garden is undoubtedly the work of one of the students of Le Nôtre, with its square and aligned flowerbeds.

The city of Bourges on the garden in French: City of Bourges on the City Hall garden

Tourist office of Bourges

There you a nice walk indeed and pleasant surrounded by such beautiful architecture and historical monuments is tops. Welcome to Bourges, in the Cher in the valley of the Loire and my belle France. Enjoy the City Hall garden!

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

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