La France des jardins publics by Louis-Michel NOURRY – Château de Bénouville

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La France des jardins publics by Louis-Michel NOURRY – Château de Bénouville

The France of public gardens

France has preserved the image of a country with public gardens that are highly considered as heritage. Born under the Second French Empire, within a context of major town embellishment campaigns, these gardens satisfied city dwellers’ desire for domesticated nature and a breath of fresh, clean air. Influenced by the Emperor’s taste for landscaped gardens, major towns copied the example of the capital city. From tree-lined walkways to public gardens, their outlines offer us the image of power, of the social elite, of the people. These gardens have survived the test of time, rarely falling into oblivion. These urban parks have remained sites that all inhabitants can visit, havens of peace and meditation. So is it any great surprise that they are arousing renewed interest?

Louis-Michel Nourry

Louis-Michel NOURRY

Louis-Michel Nourry is a doctor in history (Thesis on 19th century landscaped parks – Paris 1- Sorbonne) and holder of the HDR (capacitation to direct research – theme “Landscape and politics” – Paris 1-Sorbonne). University lecturer, HDR professor in history, director of the research department at the Brittany National Graduate School of Architecture up to 2009, he is also a DRAC (Regional Cultural Affairs Directorate) expert (inventories, remarkable gardens commission, site commission…) and DRAC-MCC trainer (History of gardens – management plan of landscaped heritage…). His articles, books and publications focus on parks and gardens, landscape, public areas.

Further reading :
Le Thabor, renaissance d’un patrimoine paysager, Apogée, 2013
Paysages de Rennes. Nature et espaces publics, Apogée, 2005
Les jardins de Villandry, la nature mise en ordre, Belin, 2002
Jardin médiéval, Jean-Paul Ruiz, 2002
La France des jardins publics, Ouest France, 1997
La Bretagne des jardins, Apogée, 1997
Le jardin du Luxembourg, JDG Publications, 1991