Etretat Gardens appear to have no beginning or end. They comprise different components united by one idea being totally integrated to nature all around. The graphics and perfect architecture can be seen from any viewpoint.
The green sculptures are part of futuristic gardens, sometimes minimalist, working with dimensions of live sculptures and streamlined forms, as if borrowed from the nature of the Normandy and Etretat coast itself.
The first part, Le Jardin Avatar (The Garden of Avatar), welcomes visitors and takes them to a magical land where you can imagine yourself a character from the Avatar movie. Intertwined here are the roots of century-old trees and plants nurtured by gardeners (Holly Ilex Aquifolium, Osmanthus Burkwoodii and Osmanthus Heterophillus).
Le Jardin Éléments (The Power Garden) symbolises the movement of the sea, the waves and tide. The images of rising and ebbing tide, waves and whirlpools have been skillfully sculpted from Phillyrea Angustifolia shrubs to rise in waves or descend in spirals, framed by blue Agapanthus Africanus. Here, you can enjoy the most spectacular view of the Aval Cliff and the famous “Needle” protruding from the sea.
Le Jardin des Émotions (The Garden of Emotions) directly dives into the bottoms of the sea. Here, you can see how Enkianthus Japonicas (imported from Japan) and Buxus Sempervirens have been cut to represent shells of mollusks, recreated in honor of the ancient Etretat’s oyster farm. The impression is complemented by unique rubber sculptures made by Spanish artist Samuel Salcedo, depicting faces of people experiencing an intense range of emotions.
Le Jardin des Étreintes et des Arbres (The Tree Hugger Garden). In this sculpture composition by Wiktor Szostalo, people lines up to hug the last tree on Earth. The project was conceived in 2005 and has since travelled around the world. Through a variety of images, the artist calls for the protection of nature. The sculptures were made with materials found in parks, including dried stems.
Wiktor Szostalo has created various characters for different countries; for France, he fashioned a sculpture of Claude Monet painting the sunset at Etretat – “Coucher de Soleil à Etretat”. The artist appears to be looking on from a huge ship and painting the sea with large strokes. Monet’s masterpiece, like Les Jardins d’Étretat (Etretat Gardens), should be viewed from different distances and angles.
In 2017, new parts of the Garden will be opened, symbolising the majestic cliffs of Etretat and the famous rock-arch La Falaise d'Aval. You will be impressed by compositions of Taxus Baccata, in the form of half-arches, and by Le Jardin “Les Bruits de la nature” (The Garden of Sounds of nature), surrounded by white rhododendrons, as well as by Le Jardin Parnasse (the Garden of Parnassus), offering a view of all the gardens and surroundings of Etretat.
A Haven of Tranquillity
Indulge yourself in the incredibly beautiful nature of this paradise of calm, near the Gulf of Etretat. Enjoy a breathtaking view.
Etretat Gardens will take you to another reality, where plants are transformed into rocks and merge with a coastline on the horizon, where the unique collection of contemporary art, skillfully combined in the idea of the Garden, will open new meanings and ways of perceiving the world.
History and Heritage
In 1905, a landscape artist from the nearby town of Fecamp, Auguste Lecanu, helped the actress Madame Thebault to plant the very first tree on the Amont Cliff, thus giving life to the future Garden.
The archive of documents and correspondence relating to the origin of the Garden have been carefully preserved and are kept to this day at the Villa Roxelane, part of Normandy heritage.
The Villa was named after a stellar role of the owner, Madame Thebault – Roxelane, the unconquered and beautiful wife of Sultan Suleiman.
Today, Les Jardins D’Étretat (The Etretat Garden) has been revitalised in a new light, as a representation of man's aptitude in following nature. The landscape architect Alexander Grivko from the IL NATURE landscape design firm has restored the gardens of the Villa Roxelane.
The gardens are the symbol of the respectful links existing between Mankind and Mother Nature. It is a unique place where landscape design and modern art interact poetically.
All year round, various events take place within Les Jardins d’Étretat: concerts, venue of contemporary art like sculpture, painting, etc. They also welcome discussion and sharing on the themes of nature and ecology between art and landscapes lovers.
The Tree Hugger’s is an environmental art project that travels around the world. At the moment and until beginning of 2017, it is a masterpiece from Wiktor Szostalo and Agnieszka Gradnik, to be seen in Les Jardins d’Étretat!
The characters of The Tree Hugger Project are made of reclaimed wood and visited at least 7 countries and 3 UNO submits. The masterpiece was shown in New-York, Saint-Louis, Moscow, Copenhagen, Warsaw, Vienna and Darmstadt.
After visiting our gardens and the unique venue of contemporary art, enjoy a gourmet break at our “Café des Jardins” (just nearby the Museum at the gardens entrance). Treat yourself with delicious sandwiches and sweet snacks as well, a wide range of coffees and teas and other typical French dainties.
After enjoying our venue and a stroll along the rocky beach with unforgettable scenery, do not deny yourself the pleasure of closing your eyes and listening to the sounds of the Channel Sea. Inspiration will find you here, while the fresh sea breeze brings both harmony and excitement.
Take some unique photos of the historical Norman views this cosy and hospitable city affords! Learn more about the famous oyster farm dating from 1777, which delivered the seafood delicacy to the table of Marie Antoinette.
If you are hungry, welcome to the food court “Le Café des Jardins” where you will find everything for a picnic in the spirit of the Normandy coast.
But also Etretat village offers you a wide variety of restaurants to discover the French and typical local cuisine, discover new flavors coming from the sea and the countryside nearby, whose duality really represents the Normandy Art de Vivre.