Virtual tour of the gardens

The Maze

Dare you enter Villandry’s mediaeval maze? Can you find the path that leads to its centre?

Villandry’s maze

Set on the second terrace, on the same level as the Love Garden, the Music Room and the Herb Garden, visitors can get lost in Villandry’s mediaeval-inspired Maze.
Villandry’s Maze is a square shape. Its green hornbeam-hedge walls are known as “charmilles” (from the French word for hornbeam, “charme”) . The aim of this fun challenge is to reach the heart of the maze, where a wooden observation tower stands, allowing you to discover the pattern of the maze from above, calling to mind some of the geometric motifs of the Ornamental Kitchen Garden beds.

The maze is an allegory of existence

The maze is a ubiquitous element in the art of the garden. The garden itself is sometimes described as a labyrinth, in reference to its many pathways that cross and intersect.
It is a reference to the Labyrinth thought up by Daedalus to conceal the Minotaur, but it does not have the same meaning. The Greek Labyrinth was a place where men would get lost and endlessly search for a way out in the midst of ambushes and dead ends. The outcome is death. The symbolic weight of the maze is therefore steeped in meaning. In the Middle Ages, it changed somewhat. The mediaeval labyrinth found in both religious buildings and gardens presents a twisting and uncertain path, like life, a path made of choices, wanderings and successes; among all the possible paths, one leads to personal fulfilment. As such, the labyrinth becomes a tool for teaching us how to lead a good life.
Today, at Villandry, the maze is a perfect place for fun and relaxation.

A little tip: there is a shortcut that takes you to the middle of the maze more quickly.

Botanical composition of the Maze