ROMANTIC AND UNUSUAL
Majolan Park has the official label of ‘Remarkable Garden’ and, in addition to its surroundings, offers a rural and history-filled excursion, right on Blanquefort’s doorstep.
Jean-auguste Piganeau was a banker who married well. During the second part of the 19th century, his wealth grew considerably. Either to give comfort to his sick daughter or to satisfy his megalomania- whichever story you prefer- he blew a part of his fortune on transforming an area of marshland into a vast ornamental park. Thus, Majolan was born, cultivated in the style of the 19th century’s in vogue romantic gardens. The rare fragrances from the trees, the dense labyrinths, the rockeries, the faux ruins and the cement bridges that criss-cross towards the 4 hectare lake form a landscape that wouldn’t be out of place in a Lewis Carroll novel. A particular highlight is the artificial caves that lead up to a gloriette on a promontory. In their zenith, they used to be home to an aquarium that was lit by a glass wall. After a period of relative abandon, the park underwent a subtle renovation by a landscaper, an architect and a mosaic artist in 2008, which led to it earning the ‘Remarkable Garden’ label. At the northern boundary, the domain’s former “model” farm has been transformed into an artistic and agricultural cultural space. Exhibitions and events take place beside a sheep’s milk farmer’s transformation lab, maturing room and salesroom. At the southern entrance, from Easter to All Saints' Day, there is a café restaurant and a bucolic terrace that brightens up any trip, which- for the most courageous- can be rounded off by going into the neighbouring fields downstream from the river where you come out onto the large remains of a fortress. The fortress was at the centre of Guyenne's most important wars; it hosted Edward Woodstock, more commonly known as the Black Prince, as well as his illustrious hostage, John the Good, King of France and the unfortunate hero at the Battle of Poitiers (1356). The two men reportedly shared a love of chess.