Acquigny developed at the confluence of two rivers: the Eure, once navigable to Chartres, and Iton diverted from its natural course through a forced arm built in the 12th century by the monks of Conches to power mills. This arm also fed the moat of the castle and protect the Priory Saint evils and the medieval village behind the castle today. The site boasts a remarkable landscape has changed dramatically since the late 19th century. The orchards of cherry and hawthorn, vineyards and sheep pastures of the high hills bordering Eure gave way to shrubs and trees permeate the landscape of high romanticism.
Acquigny, with its church, its houses, its castle and its park, is a town where walking is pleasant.
Since the early Middle Ages the site was fortified to control navigation on the Eure. Issue of wars between the French and Norman French English during the Hundred Years War, the fortress was taken by the armies of Charles the fifth in 1364 and razed in 1378.
The present castle was built from 1557 by Anne de Montmorency Laval, widow of Louis de Silly, cousin of the king and the first lady in waiting to Catherine de Medici. She wanted the architect Philibert de l'Orme or Jacques Androuet Hoop, inspired by his undying love for her husband build his house and using their four interlaced initials. This is the origin of a complex and unique structure of a rare elegance centered around a corner tower with balcony superimposed based on a mistaken clamshell Saint Jacques. This facade of honor is coated many decorative elements that celebrate this exceptional love and glory of his family.
Around 1745 Pierre le Roux of Esneval Robert, known as the President of Acquigny, had enlarged the castle, bought in 1656 by his great-grandfather Claude Roux Cambremont, with low wings with balusters. The same architect Charles Thibault rebuilt the chapel of Saint Mauxe and the stables and outbuildings. He built an orangery, the church and the "little castle" is intended to be an adjoining chapel. President of Acquigny man of great piety, after rebuilding the church, wanted to end his life as a hermit, living under the rule of strict observance of the Grande Trappe. The end of the pavilion, he could attend services celebrated in the church. The architecture of this building is simple, but harmonious. The play of colors - blue slate, red brick, white stone - and symmetry play a role in the beauty and balance that have emerged from this monument.
From the vast park of the 18th century to the regular pattern whose plan of 1784 is presented in the reception area, there remain around the garden, the general route of the water body perpendicular, but the rows of trees and flower beds symmetrical disappeared. However beautiful linden or powerful chestnut who have freed themselves of their geometric shape beautify wood. Two major elements, the garden and orangery, have regained some of their former splendor. In the early 19th century, the network of straight canals was completed by a sinuous river crossed by a bridge and a romantic way of rocks based on a theme dear to Jean-Jacques Rousseau in the reveries of a solitary walker. This includes river basins which reflect the large trees and the Castle side of the waterfalls or the big waterfall. During this walk is the silhouette of the Saint Mauxe, a turn of the 14th century now protecting the Christ of the old cloister of the priory and a 18th century cottage with its iris and sedum on the roof ridge.
Located at the end of the current park, the garden has the distinction of being simultaneously exceptional surrounded by high walls of red bricks baked on the field and channels. These walls topped with a frame supporting a slate roof are fenced, beautiful pear trees with their towering 15 or 20 branches. Its restoration began with the walls, roofs, canals and plantations. It continues with the return of flowers.
Designed for the President of Acquigny about 1746 by Charles Thibault, the orangery houses since its restoration a collection of citrus, palm trees and Mediterranean plants. She also serves as a showroom, concert and reception. Its red brick, gray blue lavender, blue sculpture of Arizona cypress pruned to form an Italian décor choice for citrus in pots placed in the heyday of driveway in front of the orangery. Mediterranean plant or hot areas are planted along the frontage: jasmine, pomegranate, passion, fremontodendron with yellow flowers, evergreen jasminoides, vineyards ...
Drawn around 1820, the landscape park was designed to showcase the castle and the site. The alternation of lawns, groves of flowering shrubs, rhododendrons and water bodies is a harmonious landscape. It allows you to find the historical perspective of the Eure Valley originally designed to monitor the river and the valley to guess the Iton. Tree plantations have been particularly successful. In this site heat and water combine to allow development of unusual species: the plane trees of different cultivars reach 46 meters high here, the Japanese pagoda tree planted at the same time as the Jardin des Plantes in Paris is the city of particularly noteworthy and the purple beech, Corsican pine, redwood, bald cypress, linden wood, chestnut ... The diversity of species is renewed for planting: cedars of Lebanon, or the Atlas of the Himalaya, tulip trees, American honey locust, pines, mulberry, hackberry, arbutus or strawberry tree ...
Opening of the park and gardens of the castle Acquigny: Saturdays, Sundays and holidays from April 1 to October 29 from 14pm to 18pm. Every day in July and August from 14h to 19h. Groups by appointment throughout the year. Information +33 2 32 50 23 31.
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