The chateau, located on the banks of the Burgundy Canal, is set in the centre of a magnificent park of 123 acres. Numerous streams, an immense pond, small romantic bridges, century-old trees, horse ring, fountains, … offer a delicate charm in this space filled with greenery and relics of past times.
One of the highlights is two new expansive parterres in the East and West garden. These parts of the park have been neglected for centuries, were remained ordinary lawns for centuries. After a historical study, a general development plan and the final approval of the projects and interventions between 2015-2017, the visitors in Ancy le Franc can enjoy these outstanding gardens. The refined style of the Renaissance palace has literally taken root in the garden.
The French-style garden:
In 1684 when the Marquis de Louvois acquired the chateau, he set about to give it the character of a true Grand Siècle residence (referring to the Great Century in France, the 17th century). He ordered for relics of the medieval wall, on the north west side of the chateau, to be demolished, so as to open up the area for huge outbuildings arranged around two courtyards.
To make sure it would be the same size as other grand structures of the same era, Louvois had famous gardener Le Nôtre to surround the chateau with an immense French-style garden opening up to the surrounding landscape. Adding magnificent garden beds, lawns, fountains and statues, Louvois managed to turn Ancy-le-Franc into his own private Versailles.
The English-style garden:
In 1759 the heir of the Marquis de Louvois, the Marquis de Courtanvaux, transformed the gardens into an English-style park. He had an artificial lake dug out at the south side of the building, with a little romantic island where he had a small pavilion built, in an octagonal shape, to provide shelter for his idyllic leisure activities. This pavilion, known as ‘La Folie’, is an elegant testimony to the time period. It was the favourite spot of the owners in the 18th century, and a place where they loved to set off fireworks.
The new West garden was undertaken between 2015 -2016. The composition, inspired by old plans from the 18th C. with a rond central planting bed and a central fountain, completely restored and raised on the spot, surrounded by symmetric parterres and alleys, all bordered with thousands of roses. The visitors can enjoy the garden in all its splendour this summer.
Another magnificent project was undertaken between April-November 2017 in the East garden. An expansive parterre, on the surface of more than 2 acres, with the design of 4 paintings of flowers, inspired by a 17th C. decor inside the castle (the Room of Flowers, south wing, 1st floor), have been recreated and transposed in monumental style outside.
4 plant panels: two roses, a tulip and an anemone stand out against a surface of white stones (quartz) framed by a row of spindles (euonymus japonicus). Carnations and petunias form the petals of the giant flowers, thousands of green plants form stems and leaves. The flower beds are separated and bordered by gravel alleys and, at the end of the beautiful perspective, a large round pool accentuates the entire composition with a six-metre high vertical jet – An absolute outstanding project!
The view upon this garden is overwhelming from the 1st floor – The visitors of Ancy le Franc can enjoy this garden, in the atmosphere of the gardens of Tuileries and Luxembourg in Paris
Related to the innovative and spectacular project in the East garden, French television TF1 is covering the work in progress [broadcast planned autumn 2017]