Category Archives: City Parks and Gardens

A Formal French Garden in Historic Quimper

Along the old wall, next to the Quimper cathedral on one side and the Odet river on the other with its flowered bridges, is this small park. It is landscaped in the style typical of  the formal French gardens, with  the low growing edges of boxwood around the symmetrical curved borders, and with topiaries at the corners.

The less traditional border at one end is filled with elephant ears.

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Barcelona’s Horta Labyrinth Gardens: The Maze and Pavilions

Located in the Horta district in northern Barcelona, the Labyrinth Garden was created in the late 18th century by the owner of the estate, marquis Joan Antoni Desvalls i d’Ardena, who commisioned Italian garden architect  Domenico Bagutti. This is when the maze was created and part of the gardens in the neo-classical style.

In the mid 19th century, the gardens were then expanded by the marquis descendants to expand the garden in the romantic style with a waterfall, large trees, gazebo, statues, and flower beds.

This garden is the oldest of its kind in Barcelona. The family turned it over to the city in 1967, and it opened as a public park in 1971.

To read more about this garden, click here, here, or here for Wikipedia.

The park can be roughly divided into three main areas: the first includes the country house and adjacent gardens, the second would be the 18th century maze and pavilion, the third includes  the romantic garden and waterfall.

In this post, I will feature the centerpiece of the park, the original 18th century maze.  Three terraces lead up to a large pavilion dedicated to the nine muses. The intermediate terrace is flanked by two small open pavilions, inspired by Roman temples.

The Roman temple
The Roman temple

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Fountain on the second terrace
Fountain on the second terrace

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Large pavilion on top terrace
Large pavilion on top terrace

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Grotto on maze lower level
Grotto on maze lower level

Grotto detail
Grotto detail

Small bridge over the stream intersects the stairs leading up to the upper terrrace
Small bridge over the stream intersects the stairs leading up to the upper terrrace

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To the side of the maze, incorporated into the gardens,  is a miniature maze:

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Barcelona’s Horta Labyrinth Gardens: The Walled Garden

Located in the Horta district in northern Barcelona, the Labyrinth Garden was created in the late 18th century by the owner of the estate, marquis Joan Antoni Desvalls i d’Ardena, who commisioned Italian garden architect  Domenico Bagutti. This is when the maze was created and part of the gardens in the neo-classical style.

In the mid 19th century, the gardens were then expanded by the marquis descendants to expand the garden in the romantic style with a waterfall, large trees, gazebo, statues, and flower beds.

This garden is the oldest of its kind in Barcelona. The family turned it over to the city in 1967, and it opened as a public park in 1971.

To read more about this garden, click here, here, or here for Wikipedia.

The park can be roughly divided into three main areas: the first includes the country house and adjacent gardens, the second would be the 18th century maze and pavilion, the third includes  the romantic garden and waterfall.

In this post, I will focus on the first area of the park. The house was originally built as a country house in the 14th century, but was substantially redone in the 19th century with a moorish inspiration. The walled gardens are done in a formal style.

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From the front of the house:

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Just outside the walls,  a round terrace is the starting point for alleys leading to other parts of the park, an arbor, a statue, or ornate stairs to a terraced garden area.

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The walls themselves are quite ornately decorated and lined with plantings.

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Barcelona’s Horta Labyrinth Gardens: The Romantic Garden

Located in the Horta district in northern Barcelona, the Labyrinth Garden was created in the late 18th century by the owner of the estate, marquis Joan Antoni Desvalls i d’Ardena, who commisioned Italian garden architect  Domenico Bagutti. This is when the maze was created and part of the gardens in the neo-classical style.

In the mid 19th century, the gardens were then expanded by the marquis descendants to expand the garden in the romantic style with a waterfall, large trees, gazebo, statues, and flower beds.

This garden is the oldest of its kind in Barcelona. The family turned it over to the city in 1967, and it opened as a public park in 1971.

To read more about this garden, click here, here, or here for Wikipedia.

The park can be roughly divided into three main areas: the first includes the country house and adjacent gardens, the second would be the 18th century maze and pavilion, the third includes  the romantic garden and waterfall.

In this post, I will feature the Romantic Garden. It is the latter 19th century extension of the maze gardens. It features small hedged squares with large shade trees; the focus of this garden is the water features, starting at the top with a waterfall, continuing with canals along this narrow garden. The main garden ends with a false graveyard garden before leading to a small garden arranged symetrically around a pond.

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