This garden came about through the purchase of two properties by the town of Cognac, Hôtel Otard de la Grange and Hôtel Dupuy d’Angeac in order to create the Town Hall and the Municipal Museum. The Cognac garden, listed in 1943 contains elements that are characteristic of the English garden (pagoda, orangery, grottoes and winding paths).

The history of the Jardin Public

It was in 1889 that the town acquired the Hôtel Otard de la Grange and its garden. Then, in 1921-2 the Hôtel Dupuy d’Angeac and its garden were bought.
In 1892, Édouard André was made responsible for the redevelopment plans for the gardens and Alfred Leroux for the building.
We owe them :
– Édouard André created, in his own inimitable style, the perspectives, grottoes, waterfalls, lake, bandstand and sunken garden.
– Alfred Leroux designed the monumental staircase, the belltower and the candelabra.
The 7ha garden was arranged into lawns and groves. André was a famous Parisian landscape architect and had been a trainee gardener at the Natural History Museum in Paris. He designed many gardens in France and abroad, specialising in 19th century English gardens and notably in sunken gardens, grottoes and waterfalls.

The Theatre of nature

This open-air theatre was created at the same time as the works on the Dupuy d’Angeac manor by Raymond Clavery. Built in a steep-sided basin, a path and steps lead to the stage that faces a verdant, semi-circular garden.
The Festival Blues Passions takes place here every year and some of the greatest blues musicians, such as Ray Charles, BB King and Joe Cocker have performed here.

Cognac Blues Passions a festival of blues, soul, jazz and rnb music concerts in the theatre of nature

The Orangery

Man-made orangeries are to be found in many ancient gardens. They enable Mediterranean or tropical plants to be preserved from heavy frosts. An orangery has big windows and is exposed to the south in order to capture the maximum amount of light.

The orangery in Cognac's Jardin Public in winter

The neogothic tower

La tour néo-gothique aussi appelée folie dans le Jardin Public de Cognac
Destination Cognac – P. Chaillot

The neogothic tower

This octagonal tower, built around 1835, has two levels. It’s called a folly and is purely decorative.
It’s the motifs around the window frames and balcony that have enabled it to be called “gothic”.
When the basin was dug out during restoration work, traces of the earlier basin, subsequently filled in, were found.
Just one path leads to this pagoda. It is protected in the Supplementary List of Historic Monuments.

Hôtel Otard de la Grange

Les droners

The Town Hall

The Town Hall is the focal point of the garden.
Located high up, each and every path leads to it. It was built in 1840 and belonged to Madame Claire Otard de la Grange, Vicomtesse de Lavilléon.

In 1887, the Hôtel Otard was sold by the rich Lavilléon family; the town of Cognac acquired the town house and its 4ha park.
The 1999 storm brought down 288 of the 720 trees in the park, some 40% of the total. The landscape architect Jean-François Galinet directed the rehabilitation of the garden for a period of two years after the storm.

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