The botanical garden of the Prieuré d’Orchaise is a 7-acre park overlooking the Cisse River. The ancient wall and neighboring steeple were built in 1060 by the monks of Marmoutiers. The park includes over 2,000 trees and plants collected by the Treuille family in their travels across the world.
The garden includes important collections of peonies, rhododendrons, roses, evergreens, and rare trees. The flowers, foliage, scents and fruits present a marvelous spectacle in every season. Visitors can enjoy the garden, the flower beds, the ponds with lotus and waterlilies, and the superb view of the fields and woods of the Loire Valley. Botanists will find species rarely observed outside of their original countries. The French National Horticultural Society awarded its First Prize to the garden in 1993.
The garden is also the home of “La Transparente”, a work by Romanian sculptor Christian Breazu. The Prieuré’s buildings, built on 11th century foundations, were restored in the 15th century; the neo-gothic wing of the 19th century, restored in 2014, creates an harmonious ensemble. During the Interwar period, this property was the home of Gabriel Hanotaux, a famous historian, academic and Minister of Foreign Affairs.