In the gardens, beautiful ceremonial birds mix with a dinosaur skeleton from the Jurassic period…
From the moment you arrive, you may come across a majestic bird with a long, slender neck. The shimmering blue male, willingly displays its feathers in public during the mating season : it is of course a Peacock, the garden’s mascot ! They live freely in the gardens, adding to the beauty of the park, as do the magnificent collector’s pigeons, cooing in the shelter of their aviary.
This menagerie reflects the naturalistic spirit of the 19th century. You can admire period dioramas, life-size wildlife scenes and old testimonials of the taste for natural science. In 1861, Julien de Cerval, heir to Marqueyssac, received first prize for his collection of fruit trees. He was part of the of the intellectual world, influenced by the recently published « The Evolution of Species » by Charles Darwin. These were effervescent times full of curiosity and research… And while the Périgord revealed a rich prehistoric past with many sites dotted throughout the Vezere valley, across the Atlantic, the ancestors of our current birds, the first ever dinosaur fossils, were brought to light.
Since spring 2017, the Nature Pavillion has been home to an Allosaurus skeleton, measuring 7.50 metres long and 2.5 metres high, it was discovered in 2013 in the United States of America and was acquired in December 2016 by Kleber Rossillon. Exceptionally preserved (75 %) this 150 million year old skeleton, is one of the most representative witnesses of the Jurassic period in Europe. Nowadays it constitutes the high point of the exhilarating atmosphere of wonder and discovery that marked the time of the creation of Marqueyssac Gardens.