Parc du Château d'Orcher
Château d'Orcher 76700 GONFREVILLE-L'ORCHER / Vallée de Seine
From the top of the cliff, the Château d’Orcher overlooks the Seine estuary and the Normandy Bridge. Built in the 12th century, the fortress was altered in the 18th century and turned into a refined manor house, now listed a Historic Monument. Surrounded by gardens, the property is home to an 18th century orangery and a terraced vegetable garden.
I drove up the long driveway lined with trees. I was looking for the chateau, but what I saw first was the dovecote. Its red roof caught my eye, and I stared at the intricate pattern of white and anthracite grey stones it was built with. And there it was, in the background. The structure of the château surprised me. it is particularly long, and I immediately noticed the typical features of a Middle Age building, such as its square keep and the towers at the corners of the building. But the chateau also features more recent elements from the 18th century. I really enjoyed the combination of both styles which makes it unique. I parked near the property's holiday cottages and got out of my car. I headed to the chateau's courtyard and discovered the place. At the foot of the building, a water basin is surrounded by a lawn. Opposite, I was delighted to see an orangery. The building is covered with wisteria, elegantly dropping in front of the glass windows. Small topiaries are scattered in front of the building and there is a bench under a tree. I was sure to have a stunning view of the chateau from the orangery. I decided to go there. The building is situated below, it must have been built in the former moats of the castle when it was remodelled in the 18th century. From the bench, I realised I was right. I could take in the full height of the chateau. It was very impressive and I wondered what it looked like when it was built. I have always enjoyed imagining the history of places, especially when they are over 1000 years old! What a pity we can’t travel back in time.
As I walked closer to the chateau, I was surprised to see a terraced garden below. To get there, there are two stone staircases along a wall lined with lavender. Their intense scent envelops me and I was lulled by this familiar fragrance. Butterflies fluttered around, enjoying the surrounding environment as much as I did. I walked towards the stairs but before going down I stood at the top to admire the view. The first terrace comprises a path lined with round topiaries and I noticed the traces of the former moats on the side. Further down, a second terrace with another path lined with topiaries with different shapes. In the distance, I discovered the view over the Normandy Bridge and the whole city of Le Havre. What was the view like from here 1000 years ago? Thoughtfully, I walked down the stairs to wander around the vegetable garden.
My walk didn't end there, since the grounds of the chateau also contains parkland! It is accessed through a pretty wooden gate and I dived into the undergrowth. I was greeted by a beech grove that creates a large shaded path. Suddenly the peace and quiet that was following me until then became more mysterious and bewitching. I looked up towards the top of the trees and was dazzled by the rays of sunshine piercing through the dense foliage. The path led me to a small maze that looked more like the colours of boxwood, whose shape reminded me a star. Its branches went in several directions and I decided to follow the one on my right. I thus carried on with my walk in the middle of the trees, falling slowly under the spell of this magical atmosphere.
Castle, Fortified castle, Dovecot, Listed or registered (CNMHS), ISMH
|01 May 2023 to 30 September 2023|
|01 July 2023 to 15 August 2023|
The visit lasts approximately : 30 min
Methods of payment : Carte bleue, Postal or bank cheques, Cash