Château de Ricey-Bas and its gardens are part of the history of France. The house that you see bears the traces of the turbulent history (14th and 15th centuries) of the village which belonged to the Duchy of Burgundy and of the changes in lifestyle that led its owners, over the years, to undertake embellishment and “modernisation” works.
Discover the history of Château de Ricey-Bas, its grounds and its restored 12th century cellar.
Travel through time and history, from the Château courtyard built on the spot where the original fortified castle stood (1086) to the French-style gardens and plane tree-lined drive, a testimony to the splendour of the grounds in the 16th and 17th centuries.
THE KITCHEN GARDEN
It is walled on the north, south and west sides and mainly made up of a dovecote and a canal, which flows through the kitchen garden in a north/south direction, its progress interrupted by an underground section beyond the kitchen garden, where it passes under the former garden. On the border between the kitchen garden and the former garden, the wall is opened to create a drainage ditch and offer an open view. Here, we are in the presence of a very rare composition
A drive lined with plane trees planted in 1802
Extract from André Goncourt’s journal
“Monday 12 August 1892
Visit to the ancient Château
de Riceys, which has the finest plane tree-lined drives
that I have ever seen: a line of trees with snakeskin bark,
creating a green vault 120 feet above your head over the length of three cathedrals.”
THE FORMER GROUNDS
There are also the former grounds, which became a meadow, probably in the 19th century, and has been planted with ash trees since the 1970s. At the far end of the plot is a spring, which has formed a small pond. According to the French registry of waterways (IGN), an English river, difficult to spot nowadays, appears to extend out from the pond. Here, you can also see remains of artificial ripraps.
The château is surrounded by a garden and over 25 hectares of grounds. A vast flowerbed, divided into four compartments by two rows of box, contains two small areas of greenery and, halfway along, a circle with a sculpted stone globe in its centre (a sundial, in fact) leads on to a drive lined with two-hundred-year-old plane trees. In the kitchen garden there is a dovecote built by Louis VIGNIER, president of the Metz Parliament, probably in 1646. Crossed by two arms of the River LAIGNE, which surround the château, the grounds are also enhanced by canals and a waterfall, which were installed in the 18th century.
Water is the main structuring feature of the estate: channelled, underground and natural.
The estate is organised in a north-south axis around the River LAIGNE. The structure also has three further axes:
A western axis forming a canal that flows through the kitchen garden and former garden. This ends in an outlet and joins the river via an underground conduit perpendicular to the river.
Another canal to the east forms the second axis. This canal ends in a rock waterfall.
The third axis forms the flowerbed and the drive lined with plane trees, thus creating one of the finest lines of trees in the region, comparable to those at COURANCES. There is also an English river which starts from the River LAIGNE and forms a semi-circle.
Opening time :
10h - 12h 14h30 - 18h30
From April 1st to July 14th:
Weekends and holidays
From July 15th to August 15th: Every day
Visites guidées :
15h30 - 16h30 - 17h30 ou sur réservation
Guided tour: 5 €
Free visit: 3 €
- Address: 1 Rue de l’Isle 10340 Les Riceys
- GPS: 48.0044506,4.370461999999975
- Website: http://www.les-riceys.fr/chateau-ricey-bas/