August 17, 2017

Eze: The Exotic Garden

Eze Village on the Côte d'Azur has an amazing Jardin exotique, Exotic Garden, at the summit of the hill on which the town is perched. To my regret I didn't venture quite that far on my previous visit to Eze. On my recent trip to France, I got a second chance.

Exotic Garden, Eze Village

Le Jardin exotique opened in 1949 among the ruins of an ancient medieval fortress destroyed by Louis XIV in 1706. When I visited in June the weather was unseasonably hot and there was no avoiding the steep uphill climb. But the views of the Riviera coastline were definitely worth the effort (and the 6€ admission fee).

Map of Medieval Eze Village

Exotic Garden Entrance

Garden Pathway

Cacti and Succulent Plants

A series of sculptures, Earth Goddesses, by Jean-Philippe Richard is interspersed among the cacti and succulents, as well as the castle ruins. Each sculpture is accompanied by a plaque with an enigmatic message. The first sculpture, Justine or Isis, commemorates the Egyptian goddess of fertility who some people credit with giving her name to the village of Eze.

Earth Goddess:  Justine or Isis

- Justine or Isis -
You have recognized me...
I am the same
And yet different.

Earth Goddess:  Margot

- Margot -
Follow me young man
And you shall know
all my secrets... almost.

Earth Goddess:  Barbara

- Barbara -
The wind clings onto my skin
These stray locks matter little.
I am daughter of AEOLUS.

The Top of Eze Village Where a Castle Once Stood

The Bay of Eze and Cap Ferrat Peninsula

The Viaduct of Eze and the Moyenne Corniche Road

Church Notre-Dame-de-l'Assomption

Earth Goddesses Amongst the Castle Ruins:  Mélisande, Rose and Anaïs

Earth Goddess:  Mélisande

- Mélisande -
Who has dreamt me?
Who has created me?
To whom have I said yes?

The town itself was every bit as charming as I remembered. From its hidden restaurant terraces to its colourful art galleries and ochre baroque church, Eze Village remains my favourite French hill town.

Le Nid d'Aigle Restaurant

Art Gallery

Cobbled Lanes of Eze

Eze Church Entrance

If you'd like more information on the garden, visit the Jardin Exotique d'Eze web site.

Related Post:
Eze: Perched Village of the Côte d'Azur

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