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The 29-hectare park, at the beginning of the twentieth century, was a part of the ownership of the Castle Colbert.
The castle was bought in the late nineteenth century by a Cholet industrialist , Mr. BERGéRE. At the request of the owner, architect Alexandre MARCEL restored the interior and arranged the surrounding landscape.
Between 1899 and 1913, he created an eastern area with a strong Japanese design,
at the rear of the castle, around the river.
 
Parc 1900

Having married the daughter of the owner, he was a frequent visitor to Maulévrier and with meticulousness and patience, he gradually developed what has become the Oriental Park. He installed a pond, fed by the river (La Moine) and planted many exotic plants.
 
Khmer elements are reproduced from moulds of the 1900 Exhibition in which he had participated. Alexander MARCEL died on June 30, 1928. His wife lived in the Castle until 1945.

 
Pont rouge ancien

From this period, the park was converted into agricultural and forest farming and progressively planted with trees up to 1980. After 40 years, the 29 ha of the current ownership were completely laid fallow, the walks completely overrun with brushwood and instead of the major alleys of the past remained walks of about 1 meter wide. Works (lanterns, bridges, pier, temple, pagoda...) were in ruins or had even disappeared.

 

In 1976, the property was sold and divided into three parts: the castle with its outbuildings and the garden, the college acquired 2 ha to build a sports ground, the SAFER a public organization for the rural arrangement, bought the remaining 29 hectares.

The town council of Maulevrier bought the park in 1980 and the park was listed, in the same year, as the sites. An association was created to ensure the management and the maintenance of the park. Using documents, photographs found and other evidence, its restoration began. Originally called Association Castle Park Colbert, the association took the name Oriental Park in 1985. These were the first volunteers of the association who undertook major work within the park.


In 1987, Japanese professors from the horticultural universities of TOKYO and NIIGATA recognized the 12 hectares of the classified site as Japanese- gardens inspired of the period EDO (XVI-XIX centuries).

Since that date, major projects have been started and are still continuing today. The park is now recognised as the biggest Japanese inspired park in Europe and is a pilot project in Europe for the quality of its restoration and enhancement.
These projects, the work and activities are carried out by an association (Act 1901) made up of volunteers, a permanent team of professionals and apprentices.