The Jardin de l’Archevêché of Bourges !!

After wandering thru 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 update with new text a bit more on the Bishop’s garden or Jardin de l’Archevêché ,(my sons below ) For info, this is Bourges in the Cher dept 18 of the Centre Val de Loire region of my belle France.


The Palais Archiépiscopal from the 17C, former city/town hall, and its French-style garden ,the Bishop’s 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 in 1654, 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, that this space was landscaped. It was in 1793 that the episcopal palace became the property of the department and the garden was then a public walk.  The then 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. An additional door is built rue des Hémerettes, the gate coming from the Porte Saint-Michel, it is the only door which opens outside the City walls, Stendhal, in his book Mémoires d’un Touriste or Memoirs of a Tourist will tell of his strolls in this garden when he came to Berry in 1837, 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 :

The Bourges tourist office on the garden :

There you folks, a nice walk indeed and pleasant surrounded by such beautiful architecture and historical monuments is tops. Welcome to the Jardin de l’Archevêché or Bishop’s garden of Bourges, worth the detour me think, Again, hope you enjoy the post as I

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

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