Between flora and fauna, large alleys and winding paths, architecture and forest, alchemy is undeniably present within the domain of Écouen Castle. A real invitation to discover the cohabitation between the building and nature, this space will offer you a great breath of the most pleasant air. On the way for a revitalizing afternoon!
Écouen, a town steeped in history
Arrived on the forecourt of theSaint-Acceul church, the testimony of the past is captivating with this church and its stone square. Then, we note a little higher the splendid Manor of Tourelles. This one is a radiant sunshine yellow. In this place sits in particular the Écouen Tourist Information Office. Finally, the Écouen Castle majestic throne, dominating the city with its imposing frame.
If you want to meet this stone giant, you will have to take the stairs to the left of the Manor. Otherwise, go through the Tourist Information Office to borrow them. The task accomplished, you will find yourself facing our splendid Ecouen castle. Here we are on the way to the domain! Stop for a moment and enjoy: the smell of lavender, the buzz of bees but also the view of this great monument invite you to the beginnings of a change of scenery.
Step 1: Discovery of the exterior of Écouen castle and the panorama
Let's continue our road to the Forest house. Get the booklet " A castle, a forest". You will discover the history of the estate but also a route to help you explore it. Now is the time to start our hike! Armed with our guide, we arrive at the panorama by taking the magnificent bridge that connects to the castle. Let your gaze focus far away. The orientation table on the terrace overlooking the Plaine de France guides your gaze towards the splendours that await your eyes, between past and present.
After this moment of rejuvenation, walk theLuat alley surrounded by a row of lime trees. Curiosity takes hold of you and you take the path that goes down to the right of the alley. On our way, we come across a plethora of chestnut bugs and autumnal colored leaves forming a multicolored carpet. We guessed it, it's fall! You see a door. Called Porte du Pré Curé, it is surrounded by a stone wall and acts as a physical border between the estate and the Écouen forest.
Stage 2: The Alley of Luat
Hop! We then turn back towards the " Hortense fountain". Neither one nor two, here we are in the alley where Olympian calm reigns, sometimes disturbed by the soft songs of birds emanating from the imposing trees. An abundant flora is offered to us: beeches, holly, maples, chestnuts, ferns and the inevitable bugs.
The silence is interspersed with the characteristic shock of these bugs on the ground stained with rainbow leaves.
By following the booklet, we note the presence of a miss oak, astonishing “misshapen” tree filled with bumps due to insect bites.
After a few photos, let's join the Hortense fountain. It is finally revealed at the end of the path, lit by the rays of the sun which pierce the majestic trees. A vestige of the past, the Fountain proudly sits around a large basin filled with the leaves that have come to lodge there.
Stage 3: Fontaine Hortense and Allée Princesse
Then, a small path leads us to the chestnut tree with 4 trunks. This majestic tree impresses us with its originality. It is the witness of a perfect communion between the flora of the forest. Once our admiration has been filled, we take the loop of the path. It allows us to join theprincess aisle. The fauna does not demerit either in the face of this remarkable flora. Always lulled by the perky songs of the birds, our gaze is attracted by a sparkling point in motion. Upon closer inspection, we discover a beetle with iridescent blue-green reflections that seems to strike a pose for a photo.
After this gentle interruption, we arrive on the famous Princess aisle. The location of the Chappe Telegraph is currently closed, but we will go to the Manoir des Tourelles to learn more about its fascinating history. Our peregrination continues down the aisle. Our gaze is on the stone benches on the side of the aisle. There emerges a poetic atmosphere, accentuated by the presence of a tree which overhangs these benches. It deploys its multitude of branches which seem endless. Its name is reminiscent of the feeling it gives off: it is a charm. Along the alley we notice, lined up like brave soldiers, the chestnut trees that adorn the passage.
Last stop: Calvary and Green Theater
Last step of our journey: the théâtre de vegetables. What a surprise to discover an ordeal at the end! Indeed, the latter is not indicated on our booklet! After deciphering the inscriptions on it, we take the path which then takes us up a winding wooden staircase. We can observe below the magnificent view of the green theater. The latter retraces through panels the history of the domain of Écouen castle. Its all-wood and circular architecture seems to be in harmony with the surrounding nature and invites a moment of calm and rest.
Before ending our walk, we admire this lush jungle one last time when our gaze is interrupted by a butterfly which lands on a leaf lit by the sun, as if to take a revitalizing bath, just as our walk was.
All information on the National Renaissance Museum and on the Château d'Écouen estate can be found by clicking here.