ile de batz dragon
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A Garden In The Colours Of Oceania

During the summer of 1897 George Delasalle discovered Batz Island and was struck by a natural contradiction.Whereas the sandy east of the island was marked by sand dunes and piles of seaweed elsewhere tropical plants, which were planted by returning sailors, thrived. A passionate botanist he purchased land in the wildest part of the island and began his extraordinary project.Twenty years of earthworks went into the construction of artificial windbreaks to trap the heat of Pol Zarab. Shelter belts were planted on artificial dunes surrounding a 5m deep hollow where plantations thrived.Suffering from incurable tuberculosis George Delasalle settled permanently on the island in 1918 and the colonial style garden became his life's work. He died aged 83 in 1944 during the German occupation. Delasalle Garden, originally designed for the pleasure of its owner and his friends, is primarily landscaped. New plantings, carried out in the style of the creator, are not exhaustive. It is a delight to see plants with contrasting shapes and colours originating from far distant countries. The flora of Australia and New Zealand is well represented. The palm and cactus gardens, are representative of these exotic environments which the gardeners continue to develop.25,000 visitors a year take away 5-7000 rooted cuttings thus contributing to the conservation of species. The garden, which opens from the first weekend in April until November, is attractive at any time of the year thanks to the Gulf Stream. Even in mid November giant dahlia flowers are a highlight.

THE GRAT LIGHT HOUSE
Batz lighthouse,built on the highest hill on the island, marks the entrance to Morlaix Bay.At 72m above sea level the 42m tower, built mainly from granite from the Ile Grande on the Cote d'Armor, is topped by a lantern (the red and white beam has 4 white flashes every 25 seconds) Its construction in 1836 and its later commission in 1852 greatly contributed to the expansion of the ports of Roscoff and Morlaix. It is now automated the last keeper who had held the post having retired in 1995. Tours are organised during the season but, in order to enjoy the beautiful views from the top, one must climb 210 steps Good luck!
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