Jardins de l'Europe (Gardens of Europe), Annecy

Jardins de l'Europe (Gardens of Europe), Annecy (must see)

The Gardens of Europe is a sizable park dedicated to the lost art of walking. The gardens and the Town Hall are located on a formerly swampy islet on the shores of Lake Annecy outside the city walls. The park was originally the property of the Asinari family of Lombard banking fame.

In 1563 a canal was excavated from the River Thiou to the Vasse canal, creating two islands. One was used for "health huts" to isolate plague victims. In 1602 the park was set aside as a place for walking by Henry I, Duke of Savoy-Nemours. The land was given to the nuns of the Order of the Visitation, the "Visitandines."

The Visitandines used the land build a chapel and plant vegetables. A wall, over 15 feet high encloses the land. A covered walkway and a drawbridge connects to the town. Come the French Revolution the land was sold to a Geneva businessman who used it in the manufacture of printed fabrics.

The town bought the land back in 1835 and by 1843 changes began to happen. The two islands were transformed into a peninsula and the Isle of Swans. The peninsula and the islet are located at the end of the gardens. A school was built and the new Town Hall.

In 1863 the Duchy of Savoy was annexed by France. The municipal Council made plans to create an English garden by Henri Porreaux. The Gardens of Europe were born. Today the gardens have 250 ginkgo bilobas, a tulip tree, laricio pines and giant sequoias.

The gardens have lots of benches for tired walkers. The marina area has 270 berths located between the Vasse Canal and the Quai de la Tournette. The Bridge of Love crosses the Vasse Canal, connecting the Pasture to the Gardens of Europe.

In the Paquier is a bronze statue of the famous chemist Claude Louis Bethollet. There is also a plaque dedicated to the Emperor Napoleon III. There have been very few plaques dedicated to the unhappy emperor. This one is in memory of a steam packet he promised for the lake.

Why You Should Visit:
The gardens are a serene bucolic setting away from the touristy hubbub in town and the views of the lake and mountains are superb.

Want to visit this sight? Check out these Self-Guided Walking Tours in Annecy. Alternatively, you can download the mobile app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" from Apple App Store or Google Play Store. The app turns your mobile device to a personal tour guide and it works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

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Jardins de l'Europe (Gardens of Europe) on Map

Sight Name: Jardins de l'Europe (Gardens of Europe)
Sight Location: Annecy, France (See walking tours in Annecy)
Sight Type: Attraction/Landmark
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:

Walking Tours in Annecy, France

Create Your Own Walk in Annecy

Create Your Own Walk in Annecy

Creating your own self-guided walk in Annecy is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Annecy Introduction Walking Tour

Annecy Introduction Walking Tour

A Roman column in the Place des Romains in Annecy commemorates the founding of the Roman settlement of Boutae in 50 BC. When the Roman empire collapsed, Boutae was deserted. A new settlement formed in the 8th century called "Anniciaca". The name "Annecy" is derived from the name of the top man of the city, "Aniciacus".

In the middle ages Annecy and Savoy belonged...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.7 Km or 1.1 Miles
Annecy's Historical Buildings Walking Tour

Annecy's Historical Buildings Walking Tour

Annecy is a lovely historic town with narrow streets and numerous notable landmarks – decorated houses, old churches, and beautiful gardens, – each bearing witness to its cultural and religious heritage. The Medieval feel reflected in Annecy’s architecture attracts tourists year after year.

The Annecy Cathedral, originally built as a convent in the 16th century, has undergone various...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.1 Km or 1.3 Miles