Cholet: Parc Francois Tharreau!

And after my last going out in my belle France we re visited Cholet in the Maine et Loire dept 49 of the Pays de la Loire region. It is a nice town full of history and nice walks we enjoy a lot. This was another trip and still things to see. Stay tune.

I like to tell you now about the gardens of Cholet and a complex known as the Parc François Tharreau. Hope you enjoy the walks in it as well as the history of it.

The Parc François Tharreau is located in the heart of town, on the very spot where the Château de Cholet once stood, the Jardin du Mail is more than simply a green space , it’s a reminder of Cholet’s history. About 150 years after they were planted, these gardens have become a favourite destination for locals of all ages in search of a bit of rest and relaxation as well as being an attractive place for tourists. The benches and lawns do look very inviting.


The garden already existed before the revolution, forming an integral part of the old castle, on the site of the current promenade. It was after the construction of the Palais de Justice in 1865 that the Jardin du Mail was transformed from 1870 until 1879.

cholet parc François Tharreau chemin jul20

It consists of three main parts:

The large embankment planted with five rows of lime trees runs along the Palais de Justice on one side and the picturesque hill on the other side. The picturesque hillside brings together all the arguments of landscaped and horticultural gardens from the 19C, natural formations such as waterfalls, rock walls, and cave grouped in lush vegetation where lights and shadows play. The horticultural part, at the foot of the Palais de Justice, forms a vast inclined, grassy plain, dotted with flower beds and crossed by a small artificial stream that joins various basins. The last is located at the foot of the wall of the old castle. Large trees including two superb magnolias that frame the facade of the Palais de Justice complete the landscape. This garden is equipped with a playground for children from 1 to 8 years old. The 74 m² fire truck themed structure was created in 2014. It can accommodate up to 32 children.

cholet parc François Tharreau front jul20

cholet parc François Tharreau fountain jul20

In the 11C, the Count of Anjou Foulque Nerra built a castle in Cholet. Burnt down and rebuilt several times, the building disappeared definitively, ravaged by flames during the Wars of Vendée. Today, only the ramparts of another era remain. In order to preserve these remains, they have been fully integrated into the current Jardin du Mail, highlighting them in this green setting. At the foot of the ramparts, stands proudly the Grand Menhir de la Garde . Moved here in 1888, it bears witness to a prehistoric life on Cholet. In place of the old castle keep is today the Palace of Justice (courthouse). The entrance to the garden, materialized by a monumental porch, testifies to the prosperity of the textile city of the 17-18C. This porch, carved on both sides, has a decor of imposing proportions. The jardin du Mail was laid out in the 1870s. The garden takes its name from the esplanade located on the side of the Palais de Justice, which was used for playing lawn game or jeu de mail, the ancestor of Croquet. Today, this space is popular with pétanque players.

cholet palais de justice tribunal front Rue François Tharreau jul20


The Grand Menhir de la Garde, initially the menhir stands southwest of Cholet, in the ditch by the Maulévrier road, 70 meters before the Garde farm. It was transported to the Jardin du Mail in 1888 on a special cart coming from Nantes and harnessed with sixteen oxens, which represents a transport of 30 tons over 5 km The menhir is a prism made of local granite, called Aubiers granite, with an almost square section with rounded angles and vertices, a height of 3.60 meters including 70 cm buried.


Cholet tourist office on its heritage in English here: Cholet tourist office on its heritage

A wonderful garden right in the middle of the city and great for all to walk it and see hear history on your paths. Hope you enjoy the walk in the Parc François Tharreau of Cholet.

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

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