Location: Jardin Compans Caparelli, Toulouse [MAP]
Project Type: Public Garden, Ephemeral
Completion Date: 1981
Access: By foot. Nearest metro stop – Compans Caparelli. Opening hours: 07:45 – 16:00
Take an early morning stroll through Jardin Compans Caparelli to the north-west corner and you will find yourself transported to the serene surroundings of a Japanese garden.
By midday this tranquil corner has a consistent flow of meandering visitors, but visit just as the park opens (from 7:45am) and you will discover an almost deserted garden.
The atmosphere is spiritual: the reflection of a person meditating on the tea pavilion in the still water of the pond; the smooth movements of a woman performing her morning yoga and total silence only broken by the singing of birds and the wind breathing through the bamboo groves.
You can sit here for just over an hour, taking in this rare piece of tranquility in the city, until the park warden arrives to empty the bin, the early morning joggers begin to pass by and mums start their morning routine by pushing their prams through the park. The city has awoken; the meditation over; the yoga ceased and the tranquility known only to this moment in time has passed by unbeknown to most of the Toulouse…
Check out Les Jardins du Muséum, another Secret Garden in Toulouse.