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The 25 secret gardens

 

Le jardin d'ivresse (The garden of intoxication)

Jardin ivresse

Allées des Soupirs

At the foot of the Pont Valentré (fourteenth century UNESCO World Heritage Site), the vines planted in this garden echo the Cahors vineyards. This is the start of the Secret Gardens tour.

 

 

 

 

enclos des cordeliers

Jardin cordeliers Lasvenes

Rue Wilson

Les Cordeliers are a religious order of St. Francis of Assisi. In the cottage garden, flowers and vegetables grow together in perfect harmony in five dry chestnut coffers. Looking up you'll see the tower of Gambetta college, built in the seventeenth century.

 

 

 

 

La banquette d'Issala Park bench

Junction of rue Bergougnioux and rue Nationale

Symbolizing a rest area, this green punctuation mark, located along the major axis of the medieval city, serves as a link on Secret Garden tour. The great medieval building located nearby belonged to the wealthy Issala family of lawyers.

 

Le préau Lastié

Le préau lastié

Place Saint-Urcisse

A raised garden, this green spot remembers Pierre Lastie, an emissary sent by the consuls in Avignon to Pope John XII, born in Cahors.

 

 

 

 

Le jardin biblique (Biblical garden)

Below the church of Saint-Urcisse

The main plants mentioned in the Old and New Testaments are found in this garden: cypress, fig, pomegranate, olive, rose...

 

place des épices (Spice square)

Place Saint-James

Spices created desires and fantasies in the Middle Ages. This site is organized around the dogs' drinking fountain built in 1992 by Jean-Luc Bertrand, stonemason of Cahors.

 

Le jardin mauresque (Moorish garden)

Rue du Petit Mot

This Arabian-inspired garden refers to the occupation of southern France by Moorish troops. It consists of three small flowering courtyards with lush vegetation and heady scents.

 

Le Courtil des moines (Monk's garden)

Jardin courtil des moines

Cour de l'Archidiaconé

The garden is composed of chestnut hurdle beds planted with forgotten or little-known vegetables and pot herbs.

 

 

 

 

 

 

L'herbularius, or "jardin des simples" herb garden

Jardin herbulmarium

Next to the Cathedral Saint-Etienne

On the side of the street from the Chantry, six beds present a series of herbs used in the Middle Ages for food, clothing and medicine.

 

 

 

 

Le jardin bouquetier, Flower beds

Jardin bouquetier

Next to the Cathedral Saint-Etienne

Rue Foch, three beds of flowers used regularly to decorate altars. The first, white and blue paying homage to the Virgin Mary, the second, red and orange, refers to the suffering of Christ, and the third yellow and gold, symbolizing the mystery of the resurrection.

 

 

 

 

Clément Marot fountain

Jardin Marot

Place Champollion

Born in Cahors in 1496, Clement Marot wrote “L'Enfer” (Hell), which is his major work. He is considered the inventor of the sonnet in French poetry. At the foot of the fountain, you will discover two flower beds.

 

 

 

 

 

L'Hortus des Dames de Cahors (Benedictine nuns garden)

Jardin dames

Square Olivier-de-Magny

Located in the heart of the Daurade neighbourhood, this park is dedicated to the ladies, referring to the former Benedictine convent. It is enclosed with woven living wicker. Some Beautiful houses built between the thirteenth and seventeenth centuries offer their facades to the gaze of visitors to the garden.

 

 

 

 

 

 

chapelle des basmes

Square Olivier-de-Magny

In the grounds of the Dames de Cahors house, these beds are devoted to eight families of flavours: citrus (very volatile essential oils of citrus fruit), aromatics (scents of sage, rosemary, thyme, lavender, aniseed), floral notes (related to flowers), greenery (smell of grass, moss, leaves), fruit (raspberry, pear, peach, blackberry), spicy notes (clove, peach, nutmeg), woody notes (warm notes such as sandalwood, cedar, patchouli), Oriental or balsamic fragrances (oriental scents a blend of warmth, sensuality, vanilla). The other three squares are dedicated to the violet of Cahors, mint and scented geraniums.

 

Le Préau Céleste (the heavenly lawn)

Jardin préau

St Etienne cathedral cloister

The cloister garden is religiously inspired and refers to the Song of Songs. It is composed of boxwood and lavender.

 

 

 

 

The Garden of the Witch and the Dragon

Jardin dragon

Rue du Château du Roi

This garden is composed of plants related to witchcraft (mandrake). A symbol of evil in a star shape is drawn on the ground with white gravel!

 

 

 

 

Grossia hospital herbularium

L'herbularium de l'hopital de grossia

Rue Fouilhac

This garden evokes Paracelsus' "theory of plant signatures" from the late Middle Ages. He believed in the association of the collective imagination of such a plant to treat disease. Vines and red wine necessarily treat blood diseases.

 

 

The cour des Caorsins

Jardin Caorsin

Îlot Fouilhac

An Italian garden occupies this space, evoking the great heyday of Cahors in the Middle Ages. It contains Mediterranean plants: cypress, pomegranate, basil.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Le jardin de Saint-Jacques

Church of Saint-Barthélémy (14th century)

The garden consists of a pilgrim and a scallop shell fashioned from woven dry chestnut. Cahors is located on the road to Satiago de Compostela, one of the most important pilgrimages in Europe.

 

The pilgrim's garden

Jardin pélerin

Church of Saint-Barthélémy (XIV siècle)

This garden is a haven of peace, quiet and relaxing. A meditative garden with sweet scents of sage, mint, verbena and violet, welcoming pilgrims.

 

 

 

 

Le closelet des croisades (Close of the crusades)

Closelet croisades

Place Luctérius

This military-inspired garden is located at the foot of the Barbican and the Tour des Pendus. Soldiers in plaited wicker watch over the garden. The plants were brought back from different crusades.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Le petit clos des clarisses

Jardin clarisse

Rue du Pape Jean XXII

This small contemporary garden, surrounded by gabions, where you find four metal flower beds, evoking the ancient monastery of the Poor Clares.

 

 

 

 

Le jardin du passeur (The smuggler's garden)

Jardin passeur

Place Lafayette

The smuggler's is the largest of the Secret Gardens. It is built on four terraces at the foot of Place Gaillart overlooking the high entrance to the city in the Middle Ages.

 

 

 

 

 

Le sentier du colporteur (path of the peddler)

Bottom end of the footbridge

Metal and cane constructed flower holders, decorated with vines and herbs, redrawing the path along the river Lot.

 

The capitulaire de Villis

Promenade de Coty

This garden, close to the remains of the Old Bridge, is a series of eight "rooms" full of greenery with herbs and plants recommended by the Capitulaire de Villis.

 

Hortus of the Mélusine Fairy

Fée Mélusine

The history of the Melusine fairy is one of the most widespread legends of the Middle Ages. A character from a novel by Jean d'Arras in 1392, the Melusine fairy turns into a snake when she becomes angry! The garden is divided between white roses and grasses.

 

 

 

 

Le clos des jacobins

Jardin Jacobins

Eglise des jacobins

A monochrome white garden in the vicinity of the ruins of the ancient monastery of the Jacobins, inquisitors of Cahors. The term "Jacobins" denotes French Dominicans since their inception in Paris in 1218.

 

 

 

 

 

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