From the top of these gardens, the visitor’s gaze takes in Le Havre, a World Heritage site, an estuary that has been a source of inspiration for the greatest names in Modern Art, and an ambitious port, open to the world.
A place of escape, discovery and life, this fort is a tribute to the Normandy explorers who, since the 15th century, have enriched our European gardens with their discoveries. It is also the venue for events such as MoZ’aïque, a world music festival.
The landscape architects did not disrupt the structure of this Vauban-style fort, but revisited and adapted it to the project. Moreover, two permanent works from the “One summer in Le Havre” programme have taken up residence here: “time suspended” created by the Cheval Vert studio in an old powder magazine, and “Sisyphus casemate” by the Brazilian artist Henrique Oliveira in one of the cells.
During your visit, make a stop at L’Orangeraie where you can enjoy seasonal freshly squeezed fruit juices, cold drinks, teas, local and organic products as well as savoury tarts, salads, fruit cakes, farmhouse ice creams and many other delicacies.
The four bastions have become thematic gardens, displaying the vegetation of the southern hemisphere, Eastern Asia, North America and, last but not least, the discoveries of contemporary explorers. In the centre of the courtyard, lined with a green carpet, the collection greenhouses offer the visitor the chance to smell fragrant or aromatic plants, varieties of orchids, begonias and tropical plants.
Note the presence of coffee trees, recalling the importance of Le Havre in the trade of this plant. Le Havre was a commercial port, born of the will of a king, François I. It played an essential role in both import and export trade, so it was logical that the main theme of this conversion should evoke the relationship of plants to the sea and to travel.
Don’t miss the test garden… Here, you will discover beds of foreign plants and flowers whose acclimatisation to our region is being tested.
As the gardens are in perpetual evolution, one day’s visit will be different from the next, so feel free to come back.