Mémoires de Garrigue
Mémoires de Garrigue, an open-air display
An exceptional landscape: the Garrigue…
The root of the word 'garrigue' comes from the pre-Indoeuropean word « kar » ou « gar » ; meaning « rock » or « stone ».This root has given us the words « guarric » in Celtic languages and « garric » in Occitan, meaning « tree from the rock », a term that refers to the Holly Oak, a tree typically found in the arid lands of the Garrigue.
Native to the Mediterranean region, specifically the Languedoc and Provence areas, the garrigue refers to plant lift that grows on rocky limestone, on dry, filtrative land. It is halfway between dry prairie land and forest.
The plant life that develops in these places has evolved to withstand intense periods of drought, typically experienced during the summer in the Mediterranean climate.
A great variety of plant life is able to flourish in this environment, providing rich colours, scents and even sounds. Plants such as juniper, rock roses, honeysuckle, butcher’s broom, spurge, sarsaparilla, thyme and madder are found here.
Aside from these, traces of mankind (especially agriculture) and fires have, for thousands of years, marked the Mediterranean soil. Farmers have cleared areas, mined stone from the land, built dry stone walls, cultivated wheat and olive trees, stripped the holly oaks and herded sheep across the land.
Discover the garrigue: Memoires de Garrigue
Through the 15 acres of restored agricultural parcels, « Mémoires de garrigue » (« Remembering the Garrigue ») is a loop of 1,4km to the discovery of the Mediterranean landscape.
A team comprising a set designer, a landscape artist and an expert in Mediterranean landscapes, has sought to reconstruct the story of human activity in the region. They have helped us understand how humans shaped the landscape prior to the 19th century.
Throughout the visit, you will have the chance to learn about dry stone architecture (structures built without mortar or binding material): these structures include walls and fencing for terraced fields, as well as 'capitelles', dry stone huts used for storing farming tools or harvested produce. Numerous remains of the Roman aqueduct that connected the towns of Uzès and Nîmes are also visible throughout the visit.
A poetic and erudite route
The walk lasts 1 hour and 30 minutes and leads you across 1.4 km of trails. Feel free to wander at will, viewing vines, cultivated grain fields, olive trees, mulberry trees, holly oaks, fruit-bearing trees and other useful plants.
There is a useful viewing point complete with a panoramic map to help you understand the layout of the site. It clearly shows everything in relation to the Gardon river and the Roman aqueduct.
A guide book for more information
During your visit, you can get a copy of our illustrated guide book, on sale in shops around the site. This booklet will help you make the most of your time here. It contains a host of information about the Garrigue, its agriculture, its typical climate, and the composition of its minerals and soil, and the history of the landscape.