The Water Gardens of Annevoie exist since 1758. Jean de Montpellier, famous forge-master, inherited Annevoie estate early 18th Century. His son started to extend the estate around 1758.
Charles-Alexis de Montpellier based his conception of the gardens on three philosophies.
In French gardens, art corrects nature. Straight lines are preferred. Gardens look like paintings.
For Italians, art has to adapt to nature. Curves and water are important.
The Drive of Desire, a small hornbeam lane, is a great example of this.
There is a copy in limestone of Giovanni da Bologna’s bronze boar, now in Florence.
In the Hornbeam Lane, there is a small fountain called the fountain of love. You can make a wish. If you are able to hold down the water of the fountain and then let it spurt up again without getting wet, your wish may be granted.
Natural effects are reproduced artificially.
For example, a false grotto houses a statue of Neptune. The statue is a “trompe l’oeil”, typical from Wallonia.
You will find more of these flate sculptures in the gardens.
Another false grotto.
The Grand Canal is the main reservoir of the gardens. It is very special because de Montpellier had to make a very complex work for his times because the spring feeding the Grand Canal is on the other side of the hill.
From up there, you have a fantastic view over the valley.
This part of the gardens is very special because these water steps are the only ones in Belgium that are still perfectly working since the beginning.
There is no machinery required for their functioning and the water supply to the grand canal is entirely natural.
The Big Spitter
Another wonder as there is no pump involved.
The Big Bouillon
It is the fanlike-shaped fountain right next to the Big Spitter.
Costumés de Venise - Venetian Costumed
Every May, the Venetian Costumed wander around the water gardens during a week-end. It is a beautiful experience. People can take pictures with them. Costumes are hand-made and the ones the people took with them to the Carnivale di Venezia.
It is an international group named Regards Vénitiens and composed with a 100 men and women passionate by the Carnival and its characters. They perform in various locations throughout Europe. They will be in Bruges the 12-13/01/2019.
The show is really worth seeing.