Courances was believed for many years to have been by Le Nôtre. The Park is in fact a century older, and is first and foremost a Renaissance water garden.
The Park has evolved over the centuries, each owner leaving his mark on it. The classical French park of the 17th century, the 'French' style of the 19th century and Japonisme of the 1920’s, all coexist. Abandoned in 1830 by its then owner, restored by the Duchênes, it continues to change with the times and with new creations such as the woodland garden.
Labelled 'Jardin Remarquable', the Park is open to the public every weekend and public holiday from April 2nd to November 1st 2022, from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. Come and enjoy its magic in spring, summer or autumn...
The Domaine will be open for European heritage day from 11 a.m to 6 p.m.
Water at Courances
Courances, it is said, takes its name from the 'eaux courantes' or 'running waters' of the park: 14 natural springs which feed 17 pools, the oldest of which date back to the 16th century.
There are no mechanisms here, only an age-old science of levels which allows the water to flow through the famous 'gueulards' or dolphin heads with gaping mouths, which adorn some of the pools, and out into the River Ecole at the far end of the Park.
Courances is said to have held a favoured place at the court of Louis XIII and it was often said: “Bois de Cély, Prés de Fleury, Eau de Courances, are three wonders in France…”. The king was known to insist on having his drinking water sent from the 'Fontaine du Roy' in Courances whenever he was staying in Fontainebleau.