The marsh of Saint-Omer seen from the skyThe marsh of Saint-Omer seen from the sky
©The marsh of Saint-Omer seen from the sky|Tourisme en Pays de Saint-Omer

Disconnecting in the Audomarois marsh


A garden created on the fortifications of Saint-Omer

Once past the entrance to the public garden, boulevard Pierre Guislain, the hubbub of the city is quickly forgotten. Do they know, moreover, these motorists, that they are driving on the old city wall of Saint-Omer? Do the walkers know that they are strolling on a former military site? Created in 1893, the layout of the public garden follows that of the old fortifications, dismantled in 1892 to enlarge the city. Saint-Omer was a Flemish city under Spanish rule until 1677, when Louis XIV conquered the city. The fortifications are a Spanish legacy from the 16th century.

Green and very wall

As you walk through the 20 hectares, this military past keeps resurfacing. Beneath your feet, on the Bastion du Château, casemates and firing ranges. Former advanced works have become green mounds. The walls are covered with green moss. Between the city wall and the counterguard, the “Jardin à la Française” spreads out its mosaic beds and straight paths. It opens onto the “Jardin à l’Anglaise”, with its winding paths and romantic furniture. Further on, the kiosk placed on the bricks of the old fortification, no longer resounds with the concerts of the 8th Infantry Regiment, given in the past on Sunday. But people come to enjoy the mildness of the first days of summer during the Fête de la Musique. A sports area has taken place on a glacis, a waterfall leans on an old fort and the moat now forms a very peaceful water point.

Hiking Couple Coteaux de L'Aa 2010 Wavrans sur l'Aa (4)The nature reserve of the cave and lawns of Acquin-Westbécourt and the hillsides of Wavrans-sur-l'Aa constitute a space with steep slopes covered with a mosaic of lawns where junipers and various shrubs are mixed.
©Hikers Les Coteaux de l'Aa
Stroll between old walls and greenery

You can’t visit Saint-Omer without taking a stroll through the public garden. This green lung located in the heart of downtown was born on former fortifications. The perfect place to get out of the house and take a break between nature and heritage.

Claire Decraene

Charming waterfalls

The surroundings of the waterfall finally concentrate all the poetry of the public garden. Leaning against the Fort of Croatians, it is surrounded by Turqueries, a wildlife park and small rock bridges over a river. The perfect place to have fun with the family, stop for a picnic, or just stroll around and take time to dream.

Remarkable trees

Classified since 1932, the public garden is a journey. Here, each tree has a story. There are about thirty of them, called “Remarkable” and have even often inspired the great families of Audomar for their own garden . Centenarians, they display extraordinary branches. The purple beech of 1894 becomes a glowing flame every spring. The Ginkgo Biloba takes us to Asia. This big holly is surely the oldest in France. A hornbeam from 1896, a Japanese varnish tree as if taken from a print, a Polonia Imperialis, symbol of the Empress of Japan, or this Sequoia, known as the “boxer’s tree” because of its soft bark. From the top of its 50 meters, it can rival the tower of the cathedral.



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