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Calouste Gulbenkian

Business man

© Sandrine Boyer Engel
© 1616 Prod
© Caroline Rose
© Caroline Rose

A garden "in its own way"

At the gates of Deauville The Domaine des Enclos is an exceptional 33 hectare park acquired in 1937 by Calouste Gulbenkian (1869-1955), a businessman doubled with an esthete, who was one of the greatest collectors of the 5th century . Armenian born in Turkey, nationalized British and living in France, he made a fortune by obtaining 35% of the sales of all the oil extracted from the Arabian Peninsula. Deauville has owned and shared for XNUMX years one of the works in which he has invested the most: a garden "in his own way".

During a stay in 1928 in Spain, Calouste Gulbenkian was charmed by the discovery of the Retiro gardens near Malaga. At the end of this visit, he noted in his journal "Man of science and dreamer in a garden in my way, these are two major goals of my life that I could not achieve".
No matter, nine years later, during one of his stays in Deauville, he acquired the Domaine des Enclos, in the town of Bénerville, bordering Deauville. It is in this park that he will create the garden of which he dreams.

Calouste Gulbenkian died in 1955, at the age of 86. Parc des Enclos was then managed by the Gulbenkian Foundation, which in July 1973 donated it to the City of Deauville. Since that date three gardeners from the City of Deauville have devoted themselves to the year, to its maintenance.

The estate now has different areas: A pine forest on its upper part, a rose garden, an apple orchard, a vast, gently sloping meadow with views and lines of flight to the sea, aviaries, a farm, a house . The park brings together rare species: black walnut and white ash from America, linden from Holland, redwood, Himalayan cedar, weeping ash, Siberian elm, ... The cone of vision that embraces the valleys of the Pays d'Auge and the views of the sea, has just been the subject of a classification measure by the Ministry of Culture (Drac de Basse-Normandie).

Twenty years ago, the City of Deauville decided to plant each year as many apple trees as children born in Deauville in the same year. Each planted tree receives the name of the child who is behind it. Every May XNUMXst, the Park is open to the public and visitors are greeted with a touch of lily of the valley.

Seventy years after its conception The Parc des Enclos remains a magical place, a little-known and joyful facet of a secret Deauville. More than anything, the park has retained the charm and beauty that its creator once had realized, with rare sensitivity.


The Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation is a private Portuguese institution, created in 1956 by will of its founder, financier of Armenian origin and British nationality, died in 1955 in Lisbon, his place of residence since 1942.

A pioneer in the petroleum industry, Calouste Sarkis Gulbenkian was also a great art collector. The Gulbenkian Museum, inaugurated in 1969 in Lisbon, now houses its entire collection: Egyptian antiquities, Islamic art, oriental and western art from the Middle Ages to the XNUMXth century, French furniture from the XNUMXth and XNUMXth centuries, creations by René Lalique.

The Foundation carries out diverse activities in the fields of arts, education, health and science. The CAM (Center for Modern Art) houses the largest collection of Portuguese art from the 20th century.

The Foundation also has two artistic entities: the Gulbenkian Orchestra and its choir which regularly perform in Portugal and abroad. The Foundation also organizes cycles of conferences and international symposia. Finally, it has a scientific research laboratory and awards research grants each year.

The Calouste Gulbenkian Cultural Center extends the activities of the Foundation in Paris. Portugal and Europe are at the heart of its vocation. Through a diversified program, the Center aims to participate in major European debates, to contribute to the challenges of contemporary society and to promote awareness of Portuguese culture in France.

The library of the Center houses the largest documentation center in Europe dedicated to Portugal and the Portuguese-speaking world with nearly 100.000 works, in French and Portuguese in particular.

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