The Parc Mauresque

A cool haven of peace and tranquillity

Charles Trenet’s song ‘C’est un jardin extraordinaire’ (It’s an extraordinary Garden), could easily have been inspired by this park. It is indeed an enchanting site in the heart of the Winter Town. You can relax here and admire the majestic, one-hundred-year-old trees, stopping off at the beautiful white bandstand or the open-air theatre. You can also observe the amazing view over the Bay and the Summer Town, while children play cheerfully. It’s a haven for lovers or anyone who allows themselves the right to wander.

 

Outstanding botanic heritage

The park is a cool haven of peace and tranquillity; it has hosted an arboretum since 1992, with over 4 hectares of green treasures: rare or exotic plants and trees, and for a few weeks has been home to a beautiful rose garden with some 600 rose bushes. Sit down on one of the famous Arcachon red benches, then contemplate, breathe in and enjoy a soothing moment of serenity and contentment.

The Casino’s idyllic setting

The Park also used to be the setting for the Casino Mauresque, which was destroyed by fire in 1977. The casino was designed by Paul Régnauld and Jules Salesses. The building’s architecture was characterised by the broad variety of materials used: iron pillars and beams, terracotta bricks and tiles, and pinewood parquet floors. According to the Practical Guide for Visitors to Arcachon of 1864, this monument was “an accurate reproduction of the Alhambra in Grenada. The upper part was entirely inspired by the Mosque of Cordoba”. There is a model representing the latter when you exit the lift.

Maquette Parc Mauresque Maquette Parc Mauresque Maquette Parc Mauresque

“This is the exact reproduction of the Alhambra of Granada. The upper part was taken entirely from the mosque of Córdoba.”

"Guide pratique de l’étranger à Arcachon" of 1864

Dare to take the lift!

The lift at the Parc Mauresque is anchored in the collective memory of all Arcachon inhabitants, and often brings back sweet childhood memories. It replaced the funicular (built in 1913) and makes it possible to cross from the Winter Town to the Summer Town. The lift was commissioned in 1948, it is located at the end of Rue du Maréchal-de-Lattre-de-Tassigny, behind a lovely fountain. Open the door (the entrance boasts a bas-relief signed by Claude Bouscau), walk down the long corridor with its curved, multicoloured ceiling, open the lift door, press the button and up you go. You will then find yourself in the heart of the park.