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PARKS AND GARDENS


  • Jardin de L'Evêché
    The Bishop’s Palace Garden
    A REMARKABLE GARDEN
  • Jardin de L'Evêché
    The Bishop’s Palace Garden
    A REMARKABLE GARDEN
L'Evêché à Castres
This “French” garden has been designed by André Le Nôtre with the pure tradition of the 17th century French classicism.
Real showcase of the city, the garden is an essential promenade for any visitor. The greenery paradise, precious gift of history, is a lively place very popular among Castres inhabitants.
Its extent, its whole composition and the design of its embroideries had gone throughout three centuries without fundamental modifications.


Parterres of embroideries
The words « parterres of embroideries » of box come from the motifs inspired by the 17th century needle works of the women of the court. This design remained unchanged since the garden creation.
It represents with a very stylised manner a Lys flower surmounted by a bishop’s hat, joined by an Occitan cross. These symbols may evoke the association of the royal power and the Episcopal power in an Occitan region, particularly in Castres.
These embroideries are fenced by a flowerbed emphasised by topiaries of venerable yews cut and clipped in very various shapes.


English parterres
These are parterres with a piece of lawn in the centre edged with flowerbeds. At the present time these beds are planted with perennial plants and little shrubs.
A sage collection completes these beds in the summer months.


A garden made of perspectives
The richness of this garden comes also from its multiple perspectives.
Its plan is trapezoidal, lightly shifted towards the west in order to prolong the north-south axle. This shift of the main axle is compensated by the two lines of lime trees re-centring the view laterally to the east and to the west of the garden.
The pond is nearer the extreme end of the garden than the Bishop’s Palace front.
The parterres have unequal widths, narrower by almost 2 m near the palace than at the end of the English parterres. This disproportion provokes a “slow perspective” visual effect from the front steps. The spectator has the illusion that the pond is in the centre of the garden.
The glance is subtly directed by the conditioning of the beds: the eye is attracted at first by embroideries then towards the pond.
From this point, the glance slides towards the chestnut grove then bounces to the Black Mountain and the horizon.


  • Jardin du Mail
    The Mail Gardens
    WHAT WAS THERE ON THE XIXth CENTURY?
  • Jardin du Mail
    The Mail Gardens
    WHAT WAS ON THE XIXth CENTURY?
 
THE MAIL GARDENS
WHAT WAS THERE INSTEAD OF THE GARDEN ON THE XIXth CENTURY?

Jardin du Mail
The Pall-Mall Game

The garden has a triangle shape, bordered by the coach station and the Obelisk square. In 1897, it replaced the pall-mall carpet.

Almost all cities had a pall-mall court. Pall-mall is the precursor to croquet and golf. It consists in chasing away, with the fewest hits possible, a boxwood ball, touching several goals. Afterwards the Mall will stand for the “grassed alley where to play pall-mall », then « a public promenade bordered with trees ».

In spite of some modifications, the original thread of the park is still visible: a set of ponds, an artificial island and a fountain in the middle of circulating alleys bordered with benches.
The most ancient trees of the garden (the magnolia, a few oak trees and cedars, one of the osage-oranges) are certainly contemporaries of the end of the XIXth century. In the garden there is a total of 53 different species among which several subjects of rare species. The most remarkable is the hybrid oak tree.


A garden « with an english style»

Since the middle of the XVIIIth century, in an England immerged into pre-industrialisation, the irregular garden had been an assumed reaction against the factories rigidity. The English garden, with its irregular shapes is often opposed to the French garden, of which it is the opposite. Far from the geometrical system of classical gardens, designed by architects, in function of the viewpoints, it highlights a remarkable natural element: rare tree with coloured leaves, tortured trunk, lawn, brook, pond, meadow or even mass of fallen rocks and precipice.

The composition meets the rules of the painting. There is balance of volumes, variety and concordance of colours and of vegetal materials.

The English garden organisation with its succession of viewpoints forces the designers to take advantage rather than to correct the site accidents. Hilly landscapes become belvederes, subsidence becomes caves.


  • Jardin Frascaty
    The Frascaty Garden
    WHAT DOES THIS GARDEN NAME MEAN ?
  • Jardin Frascaty
    The Frascaty Garden
    WHAT DOES THIS GARDEN NAME MEAN ?
 
THE FRASCATY GARDEN
WHAT DOES THIS GARDEN NAME MEAN ?

Le jardin Frascaty, à Castres
HISTORY OF THE FRASCATY GARDEN
In 1715, Mister Gauthier DE BOISSET receiver of salt granary, orders the construction of the Frascaty Mansion. After 1760, the Beaudecourt mansion is erected near. The fortifications moats are filled in and on their location is designed the present boulevard des Lices. In a triangle formed by the front of the Frascaty mansion, the garden line of the Beaudecourt mansion and the situation of the boulevard bewteen Tolosane and Porte Neuve, a grove of a hundred of young elm trees is planted.

This place is at first called: Les Ormeaux de la Porte Neuve. In 1865, a project of garden is planned to replace it. Various species of trees are planted, the water pond is built then the garden is fenced with a grid as the major part is at that period. This square takes the name of Frascatt, inspired by the gardens of the city near Roma.


THE BEAUDECOURT MANSION
Its name comes from a very old family of bankers and merchants of Castres. The mansion was built in 1717. Sold in 1804, several owners followed one another and then it became the house of the sub-prefecture. The ministry of war purchased it in 1874 to install the offices of the artillery school of Castres and the general’s house.
Between 1942 and 1944, the mansion is occupied by Germans and today it is a garrison circle and mess hall.
The surroundings have been cleared with the suppression of the wall and of the little train way (which operated between 1905 and 1962), now a street for cars separates once more the Beaudecourt and Frascatt gardens.


  • Parc Briguiboul
    The Briguiboul Park
    WHO WAS MARCEL BRIGUIBOUL ?
  • Parc Briguiboul
    The Briguiboul Park
    WHO WAS MARCEL BRIGUIBOUL ?
 
THE BRIGUIBOUL PARK
WHO WAS MARCEL BRIGUIBOUL ?

Le parc Briguiboul, et l'école des Beaux-Arts de Castres
AN ORNAMENTAL GARDEN
The Briguiboul park is an ornamental garden (enclosed plot of land joined to a private mansion) with irregular alleys. Privilege of middle to upper classes of the XIXth century, ornamental gardens exist just for pleasure and aesthetics. Atmospheres are created with a choice of vegetation, materials, furniture, like the garden of Albert KAHN in Boulogne-Billancourt.

The Briguiboul park is built around a grove of two majestic cedars located in front of the front stairs. The cedars are classified Remarkable Trees of the Tarn department landscape and would have been brought back during Napoleon’s campaigns.



MARCEL BRIGUIBOUL
Son of a rich middle-class family of Castres, Marcel BRIGUIBOUL comes to painting in Barcelona and gets his training in Paris where he meets J.P. LAURENS, RENOIR, MONET. Painter and collector, fascinated by the big Spanish masters, he acquires in Madrid on the 7th of May of 1881 numerous high quality paintings among which paintings by GOYA: the “Self-portrait with glasses”, the “Portrait of Francisco DEL MAZO”, a set of caprices and the “Junta of the Philippines”, an incomparable masterpiece.

With the successive decisions of the painter Marcel BRIGUIBOUL then of his unique son and his widow, the city of Castres inherited their house dating from 1902. All the works of BRIGUIBOUL are also parts of the legacy, particularly the three paintings by GOYA which became with numerous prestigious works the initial point of the Hispanic art collection of the museum of Castres.

From 1929 to 1951, the inherited house became a museum dedicated to the BRIGUIBOUL’s works. His paintings are now inside the GOYA’s museum.


  • Parc de Gourjade
    The Gourjade Park
    WHAT WAS THE GOURJADE MILL FOR?
  • Parc de Gourjade
    The Gourjade Park
    WHAT WAS THE GOURJADE MILL FOR?
 
THE GOURJADE PARK
WHAT WAS THE GOURJADE MILL FOR?

Détail de la façade de l'Hôtel dit de Nayrac, à Castres
A FARM ESTATE
Acquired by the city in 1977 from the BOISSEZON family, this park of 53 HA is located on a site occupied since the Neolithic era.
The area includes a mansion dating mainly from the XIXth century and farming buildings, as the property had been dealing with agriculture and stock breeding.
The smallholding buildings and the mill remount to the XVIIIth century. A chapel, washhouse, a cave in millstones, a fountain and a pond decorate the surrounding park.
The mansion is characteristic of the rural middle-class architecture of the XIXth century. Overhanging on the front of the house, the bartizan is an architectural witness of the original building.
In 1834, a mill came to use the difference of level of the Agout river with an underground canal. A pump supplied the canals to irrigate the meadows. The motive power of the fall was used to thresh wheat and mould the grain. Approximately in 1890, the Agout river sandbank made useless this installation.
With their “neo-gothic” features, capitals and columns decorate the mill. They come from the Templers house dating from the XIIth century. Others qualify the style as “troubadour” by observing particularly woodworks, ironworks and stones, finely elaborated.


GARDENS INSIDE THE CITY

The « green heritage» has been taking importance since the end of the XIXth century.
The omnipresence of cars in the second part of the century had thrown confusion into the city organisation. An active policy for public transport and improvement of the living environment is trying to reverse the tendency particularly by revalorisation of green spaces inside cities.
Numerous improvements have been made so that the parks become public areas with fun, sports and cultural vocation.