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LE GULBENKIAN CALOUSTE PARK, A REMARKABLE GARDEN
Open from April to October, the Parc des Enclos Calouste Gulbenkian is an exceptional 33-hectare park, located a few minutes from the center of Deauville in the town of Bénerville-sur-Mer. It is planted with remarkable essences and combines different atmospheres suitable for meditation, as desired by its designer.

A remarkable and little-known garden

The Domaine des Enclos is an exceptional 33 hectare park acquired in 1937 by Calouste Gulbenkian (1869-1955), a businessman and an esthete, who was one of the greatest collectors of art of the 5th century. Armenian born in Turkey, nationalized British and living in France, he made a fortune by holding, after negotiating for them, XNUMX% of the shares of large European oil companies present in the Arabian Peninsula.

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 was then a hotel surrounded by a large park. He went there to create the garden he dreamed of and entrusted Achille Duchêne with it. Calouste Gulbenkian died in 1955, at the age of 86. The Enclosure Park was then managed by the Gulbenkian Foundation, which in July 1973, actually
donation to the City of Deauville.

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© Sandrine Boyer Engel
© Sandrine Boyer Engel
© Caroline Rose

The Enclosure Park was acquired in 1937 by Calouste Gulbenkian, a businessman and an esthete. During a stay in 1928 in Spain, he 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 main goals of my life that I could not achieve". Whatever, nine years later, during one of his stays in Deauville, he acquired the Domaine des Enclos. It was then a hotel surrounded by a large park. He went there to realize the garden he dreamed of and entrusted the realization to the landscape architect Achille Duchêne, who mixed both the classic style of French gardens with geometrically arranged flowerbeds, the more natural layout of the gardens at the English or Italian style with its pointed yews and its balustrades. For Calouste Gulbenkian, very busy with his business, the park was a place of healing. When he stays in Deauville, he takes board at the Royal Hotel and goes to the Enclosures every day. On the spot, he walks or settles down in a canvas armchair and contemplates the old trees, breathes the scent of shrubs and flower beds, listening to the songs of birds. When he died in 1955, the park was managed by the Gulbenkian Foundation, which in 1973 donated it to the City of Deauville.

"My desire is to arrive at a set of great harmony excluding all the too frequent pettiness in style gardens (...) to keep the whole its romantic character and enhance it, embellish it and not stylize it. .. " 

Calouste Gulbenkian , Letter to Achille Duchêne, spring 1938

 

See biography

The upper part : on the upper plateau, associates a coniferous plantation and a vast meadow which crowns the park.

The central part : has a magnificent driveway starting from the main entrance with boxwood hedges. It opens onto a vast, gently sloping, undulating clearing. At the entrance to the park, an alley, the large scenario, a median opening onto a staircase, leads to a horseshoe-shaped clearing on the site of the old mansion. A little further on, the small scenario, a median bounded by a wall decorated with balustrades, was built with the stones and the railing during the demolition of the old mansion. Below, several terraces are located: a rose garden (with geometric flowerbeds and a basin), an orchard (apple and pear trees bordered by clipped boxwood) dominated by a small garden building where a permanent exhibition tells, since 2010, the history of the park and its facilities. The garden alone combines different atmospheres, meeting the needs of meditation and calm of its designer. It combines both the classic style of French gardens with geometrically arranged flowerbeds, the more natural layout of English gardens and the Italian style with its balustrades. Its floors, stairs and balustrades, numerous in the park, occasionally provide spaces suitable for concerts or readings.

The lower part : which cannot be visited, has a farm and its outbuildings, pastures and a group of hutches and aviaries.

Discover the species and the plan of the park here.

 

 

Visit Calouste Gulbenkian Park Opening dates and practical information