Medieval Garden, Uzès
The Medieval Garden (Jardin Médiéval) is a shady, green refuge in the very heart of Uzès. The long, narrow entrance takes you, in spirit, directly into the Medieval era. The entire garden area is completely cut off from the rest of the town. Inside, ancient towers rising above and small trees, herbs and gardens fill the grounds. All of the 400-plus plants are "wild", the same plants used by the people of the Middle Ages.
The gardens are tucked in between the walls of the King's Tower (Tour du Roi), the Bishop's Tower (Tour de l'Evêque), the King's room and an ancient chapel. The plants are grouped in different areas, including a Herbularium on one side and Utilitary Plants around behind the King's Room. The plants are all clearly marked, and well-tended by a small group of staff and volunteers.
In addition to a very friendly welcome here, you will be offered a complementary herbal drink at the end of your visit.
Informative signs explain various aspects of the Garden. The historical information is given in French only, but there are good explanations in French and English about the Medieval Gardens, the Herbularium (medicinal plants) and the Hortus (kitchen and condiment garden).
King's Tower Panorama
A very tight spiral of exactly 100 steep, stone steps takes you to the top of the King's Tower, where there's a magnificent view across the roofs of the town and the surrounding countryside. The view east, south and west; the higher Bishop's Tower blocks some of the panorama on the north side. Apart from looking down on the main sites of Uzès, you can see west as far as the Pic St Loup, and northeast as far as Mont Ventoux.
Various rooms on the grounds have permanent and temprary exhibits. In the old jail cells, between the two parts of the gardens, ancient photos, diagrams and text (French only) explains the creation of licorice (réglisse), which began in Uzès in 1855, and another room depicts the history of Uzès.
The Medieval Garden of Uzès was created in 1995, using ancient illustrations and manuscripts to recreate the walled botanical gardens of the Middle Ages.
Entry cost (2018): 5.50 euros; kids under 12 free. Entry includes the gardens, exhibitions, the King's Tower, and a cup of herbal tea at the end of your visit.