Vimy _ Jardin de la Paix © Art & Jardins Hauts de France - Yann MonelVimy _ Jardin de la Paix © Art & Jardins Hauts de France - Yann Monel
©Vimy, Jardin de la Paix |Art & Jardins Hauts de France - Yann Monel

15 Gardens of Peace for tomorrow’s world

On an initiative by the Hauts-de-France region and the Art & Jardins Hauts-de-France association, 15 gardens by artists and landscapers from countries that fought in the First World War have been created near the main remembrance sites.

Northern France _ Compiègne _ Franco-German garden of peace © Art & Jardins Hauts de France - Yann MonelNorthern France _ Compiègne _ Franco-German garden of peace © Art & Jardins Hauts de France - Yann Monel
©Northern France, Compiègne, Franco-German garden of peace|Art & Jardins Hauts de France - Yann Monel

A Garden of Peace “is a place that brings calm to counterbalance the violence of combat,” explains Gilbert Fillinger, the director of d’Art & Jardins Hauts-de-France. It is no accident that the idea originated here, in the region that suffered the most from the four years of war. Historically, this is a region that rouses the courage to “get back up and take up the challenges you are faced with”.

Situated near some of the major Great War remembrance locations, the gardens were designed by landscapers, artists, and architects from the 35 warring nations. This illustrates not only the international dimension of the conflict but also the potential force of fraternity. They are an invitation to sit down, to question yourself about the meaning of peace, to develop an inner strength equipping you to better face the future.

The Gardens of Peace have a positive, constructive approach to the duty of remembrance, where Canadian serviceberries, dogwood, steeplebush – all white flowers and never the same ones – are prevalent, always giving the same feeling of peace and calm, as if echoing the white flag. “A universal message,” finishes Gilbert Fillinger.

Where can you visit a Garden of Peace?

  • in Le Quesnoy: the New Zealand, Portuguese, and Belgian gardens
  • in Vimy: the Canadian garden
  • in Notre-Dame-de-Lorette: the French garden
  • in Neuville-Saint-Vaast: the Czech and Slovak garden
  • in Arras: the Scottish garden
  • in Thiepval: the English and Welsh gardens
  • in Péronne: the Irish garden
  • in Craonne, on the Chemin des Dames: the German, Italian, and Moroccan gardens
  • in the Glade of the Armistice in the Forest of Compiègne: the Franco-German garden

Local's tip

Christine Tampigny Portrait RecChristine Tampigny Portrait Rec
©Christine Tampigny Portrait Rec
Poppy biscuits!

I love the “Biscuiterie du Coquelicot” in Albert (owned by Philippe Feret). It’s a great place for a snack or to buy a gift before you leave. They have specialities made with poppies (the symbol of the Great War): waffle wafers, cordials, sweets … What I like most in this shop is, without the shadow of a doubt, the poppy petal shortbread. It’s absolutely delicious! You can also buy regional specialties such as cornflower cordial, chicory wafers, and products made from sea-buckthorn from the Somme Bay.

Christine TAMPIGNY, Advisor at the tourist office, expert in heritage outings and nature walks in Haute-Somme

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