The Jardins de l’Europe in Annecy is a magnificent natural park. It is located between the Hôtel de Ville and Lake Annecy. It is a pleasant and shady walk, much appreciated by the inhabitants of Annecy and tourists alike.
The privileged location of the Jardins de l’Europe
To access the Jardins de l’Europe :
- Coming from the Old Town of Annecy, you cross the bridge over the Thiou and turn right immediately.
- If you are coming from the town centre, you pass behind the Hôtel de Ville or next to the school on the Quai Jules.
- If you are on the Pâquier, just cross the Pont des Amours to reach the Jardins de l’Europe.
This wooded park allows you to take advantage of the many benches to admire Lake Annecy. On the Napoleon III quay, boats offer cruises on the lake. In its centre, a magnificent fountain refreshes the atmosphere. The end of the park leads to theIle des Cygnes. This small island, artificially created in the 19th century, is home to large trees. This large park is used for the mask parade during the Venetian Carnival in Annecy in March.
For the younger ones, there are children’s games on the left side of the gardens.
During your walk, you may come across contemporary art creations that are installed during the Annecy Landscapes Festival, some of which are acquired by the town and can be viewed all year round. The site is also ideal for picnics with its many benches, large shaded lawns and ice cream vendors near the Pont des Amours.
The history of the Jardins de l’Europe in Annecy
This place of calm and tranquillity has undergone many historical transformations.
- At the end of the Middle Ages, the site was a swamp made up of small islands reserved for the contagious sick.
- From Lombard bankers, the Asinari family bought the place and then gave it to the de Nemours family in 1644 who offered it to the religious order of the Visitation.
- This enclosed garden is linked to the convent by a covered bridge. During the Revolution, it became national property.
- In the 1850s, the town of Annecy bought the meadow and built the Town Hall and the school on Quai Jules. Following an architectural competition, the town decided to create a large natural park. 650 trees and over 1,000 shrubs make up this English-style botanical garden. When Savoy became French in 1860, Napoleon III offered the town of Annecy a steamboat: “La Couronne de Savoie”. In 1963, the town put up a commemorative plaque in the gardens on the future Napoleon III quay.
Nowadays, some of these trees reach tens of metres in height. You can admire a large ginko biloba, pines, giant sequoias and a tulip tree.