Looking for exotic and dream-inducing places? There is in Île-de-France an uncommon garden where time seems to have stopped. In Yvelines, an English-Chinese garden looking like a cabinet of curiosities in the open-air expects you for a peaceful walk paced with intriguing landscapes. This is the Désert de Retz.
This used to be a deserted place, a haven of peace where one could retreat to or meet with people without having to comply with the etiquette. The biggest specialty of this garden dating back to the late 18th century is that it is one of the rare gardens of this type to have lived through the centuries remaining almost as it was first. Listed as Historic Monument since 1941, it is found in a 40-hectare estate on the edge of the Forêt de Marly, only half of it being open to the public.
At first, there were 17 follies, ornamental buildings completing the landscape. Some have disappeared, but now, seven of them managed to live through the ages and all the way to us, sometimes turning into remnants.
Apart from the destroyed column that used to be the main folly, when roaming around the Désert de Retz, you will discover in turns the Glacière Pyramide – what could be described as the ancestor of our refrigerators enabling to store perishable goods – the Tartare tent and its turquoise and yellow hues standing out against all this greenery, or the even the temple of the Pan God. You will be intrigued by the vestiges scattering the desert, including of a theater, a gothic church and even a temple of rest.
You get it, the Désert de Retz is an exclusive place where you can enjoy a wonderful verdant place paced with uncommon sights. A perfect idea to relax while discovering treasures in Île-de-France!
Dates and Opening Time
From 21 April 2021 to 30 April 2024
Le Désert de Retz
Le Désert de Retz
Tarif enfant (8-17 ans): €6
Tarif visite libre: €10
Tarif visite commentée: €14
1 h 30 min