This hidden garden and the Ottoman Pavillion are the seats of the Marc de Montalembert Foundation. The foundation, established by his parents in memory of Marc de Montalembert (1972-1993), strives to promote cultural understanding among the young generations and encourage intercultural dialogue in the Mediterranean world.
The garden and pavilion were donated to the City of Rhodes in 1995 by Mr. and Mrs. de Montalembert who restored them. Since then the garden has matured and become a veritable oasis and refuge amidst the walls of the old town.
Early sources indicate that the garden already existed in the 13th century and continued to do so through the epoch of the Knights as testified by Caoursin’s miniatures of 1484 and through the Ottoman period.
The garden draws its inspiration from all that is common to both medieval and Ottoman gardens, as for example the presence and the symbolic significance of water, the square or rectangular layout, the use of aromatic
or medicinal plants, the presence of enclosed and symbolic spaces.
Water is an important element in the garden. It flows from the old well through the Ottoman fountain into a large square pool in the center of the garden, and from there into the small rill which runs the length of the garden and which recreates the Turkish layout in a modern spirit.
Thus along the two axes marked by the flowing water, space is divided into a series of repeating rectangles and squares, mirroring the square pool, which, with its Ottoman fountain framed by medieval arches, itself bears witness to the integration of two different cultures over the ages.
White is the dominant color of the garden, interrupted only by the red of the pomegranate flowers and of the poppies which appear of their own accord in spring between the stones of the walled terrace. For this text and more information about the foundation, please visit: www.fondationmdm.com