Aperçu sur un chef-d’œuvre du Patrimoine Mondial méconnu, les Jardins de Wörlitz by Danielle SÉGUIN – Château de Bénouville

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Aperçu sur un chef-d’œuvre du Patrimoine Mondial méconnu, les Jardins de Wörlitz by Danielle SÉGUIN – Château de Bénouville

A glimpse of a lesser-known World Heritage masterpiece, the Dessau-Wörlitz Garden Realm

‘It was only in October 2022 – after 6 years of will and waiting – that I was able to devote a week of my time to discover such a place, a listed Unesco World Heritage site since 2000: the Dessau-Wörlitz Garden Realm – an immense estate nestling between the branches of the Elbe, tamed by extensive earthworks, drainage, hydraulics, these branches dividing the area into five gardens connected via several bridges, all of them different and each garden boasting a host of follies.
I came out of it transformed, staggered – excuse my familiarity, but I was, indeed, totally stunned, captivated and emotionally exhausted. An impacting discovery like no other, which requires – rather than simple curiosity – audacity and perseverance. A whole world created by a young prince of just 18 years, who set off in the mid 1760s with a friend and learned architect to discover Western Europe, the Kingdom of Britain in particular. France, Italy, Holland and Switzerland were also part of Prince Franz of Anhalt-Dessau’s journey, inspired by the new English landscaping style, the spirit of the Enlightenment, the philosophy of Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Winkelmann, etc., and who put into practice these ideas from an aesthetic, educative and economic viewpoint.’

Danielle Séguin

Danielle Séguin has always been drawn by art, in particular theatre and contemporary dance, which she herself practised for several years. She taught modern literature in a secondary school for 12 years, then in the Lyon University Technical Institute, where she concentrated on expression and communication. In the 1980s, Regional Cultural Affairs Directorates decided to list the gardens which – by hosting listed historic monuments – called for protection, then implemented associated education and training. Danielle Seguin gave up her original profession to study the course at the ENSAV (National Graduate School in Architecture) in Versailles, and chose to become a lecturer in the Art and History of Gardens.
Travelling through France and abroad, with the will to exclusively present existing gardens, she trained as a lecturer, a profession she has enjoyed for the past 24 years. She has studied hundreds of sites and given several conferences throughout France.