During the XVIIIth century, the city was no longer considered to be solely for living and commerce, it was also expected to offer a quality of life for its inhabitants.
It was for this reason that in 1746, the Intendant Tourny decided to create what is today the Jardin Public on a site that was previously invaded by weeds, poor vines and some gardens. The first trees were planted in 1749, and the architect Voisin built a terrace with three entrances, decorated by Masset and Laconfourque, while the architect J. Ange Gabriel designed the classical French gardens.
A place for promenades and meetings, there was even a space for horse training. However, after the revolution, the gardens were transformed into the Champ de Mars where official ceremonies took place. The creation of the parks allowed the area of Saint-Seurin to be linked to the city, as well as the quarter of the Chartrons. Under Napoleon III the gardens were transformed into a traditional English formal garden, and extended. This is the present form of the gardens.
On passing through the wrought iron gates, opposite the cours de Gourgue, one notices the elegance of the mansions to the left, and on passing the terrace, one arrives opposite the Champ de Mars.
After passing the statue of Rosa Bonheur, 19th century naturalist painter, one reaches the Hôtel de Lisleferme (built by F.R. Bonfin in 1778) that is home to the Museum of Natural History. Behind the gallery of the greenhouses that no longer exist, with the Palladio style arc, one reaches the botanical gardens.
On crossing the little bridge, under which the swans and ducks swim, one can see the beautiful line of mansions that were built in the 19th century. Those in the rue Daviau recreate certain elements of XVIIIth century art, creating an architectural coherence all around the garden. But, beyond the commemorative statues, such as those of Léon Valade and Maxime Lalanne, beyond the gardens that change every season with the constantly changing flowers, it is the very soul of Bordeaux that can be felt, a certain art de vivre, so close to the Chartrons quarter that can be visited by leaving the garden and taking the cours Xavier-Arnozan, what was once the "Pavé des Chartrons"