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Château de Courances
Parks and Gardens   Parks and Gardens

Fees and Opening days :
Individuals : week ends and free days, from 2 pm to 6:30 pm.
Groups : on request during the week (except on wednesday).
- Individuals : 6,50 Euros (park) ; 8,50 Euros (park + chateau).
- Groups : 5,50 Euros (park) ; 6,50 Euros (park + chateau).

Description :

«Water gardens» were invented in France in the sixteenth century, after the enclosed medieval gardens and before the classic French garden. At Courances, water is the path that leads the visitors through the grounds. Fourteen springs gush from the ground and are transformed into seventeen ornamental ponds and pools.

It may well have been at Courances where Le Nôtre conceived of his French garden. It was originally attributed to André Le Nôtre, although it was the landscape designers Henri and Achille Duchêne who, in the early twentieth century, fully developed the classical design of Courances. For more than 500 years, the successive owners fashioned the soul of the property, while preserving its integrity. Jean-Louis de Ganay, the current owner, decided to simplify the geometric lines of the park and to allow nature its full expression, making Courances a decidedly contemporary garden.

The vogue for Japanese art in the nineteenth century revolutionized the work of the Impressionists and also strongly influenced landscape design. Berthe de Ganay created a delicate garden before 1914 as a contrast to the regularity of the existing gardens. With its artificial island, rich botanical specimens and contemporary bridge, the Anglo-Japanese garden at Courances is a perfectly composed painting – or perhaps a mirage ?