Saturday, August 06, 2011


I've been to a few labyrinthes (mazes) in our region. There's a small one at the Château de Chenonceaux and another larger one at Villandry. Both of those are made with meticulously trimmed shrubbery. This one, on the grounds at Valençay, is made with wood panels and other modern materials.

The goal of the maze is the viewing platform from where I took this picture. We made it.

To enter the maze, you have to figure out the answer to a riddle and type it into a touch-pad next to the doors. With the right answer, the doors open and you walk in. At several junctions throughout the maze there are more doors with riddles to be solved. Some of them are rather involved and it takes a while to figure them out. People back up at the doors and often you are at the mercy of the people in front of you to figure out the riddle and open the door.

The riddles are posted in French and English and they are historical in nature reflecting the time of Talleyrand and Napoleon. However, for those who don't read either language, can't solve the riddle, or just don't have the patience to try, each door has a simple "open" button that lets you pass without the answer. We had fun giving the riddles a try, but we used the "just open the damned door" button several times.

Navigating the maze took much longer than we thought it would. It's bigger on the inside than it looks from the outside. At the end we ended up on a raised platform to gaze over the maze. In a daze. As we exited, my rousing cry of "one more time!" was met with more than a few groans.


  1. My goodness, I think I would have my finger permanently on the 'open the damned door' button.

  2. After you reach the goal, must you backtrack to exit, or is there an easy out?

  3. I think I would prefer the shrubbery.

  4. I've never seen anything like this and would love to wander the maze. But, I would definitely be using the "open the damned door button"!

  5. Very cool! The only mazes we have around here are the type that are made using a field of corn.

  6. Very creative... but, I think that I would feel a sense of being trapped. Ewwwwww.

  7. It looks great fun. And there wouldn't be too many surprises in the form of creepy crawlies hiding in the shrubbery. (Animal or human!!)

  8. I love mazes! There's one in Ohio that I went to as a kid. It was built of wood - log-cabin style. It's goal was the same: to reach a viewing platform at the center. :)

  9. What fun! I would love to do something like this.
    When we were children, by brothers and I used to make mazes for our various rodent pets. The gerbils lived way long past their life expectations; we often wondered if their constant exercising in mazes kept their brains and bodies going - suggesting that we do likewise.

  10. victor, I know what you mean.

    eva, there's an easy out via a bridge over the maze to the exit. Thank goodness!

    starman, yeah, the shrubbery ones are very cool.

    mitch, another reason to visit us in the north.

    buddy bear, are they made by aliens? ;)

    judy, it is a strange sensation, and there was no cheese at the end!

    jean, it was very clean and we saw no creepy crawlies.

    writer, cool!

    michael, some of them can be quite elaborate. This one was pretty good. I feel like I have the brain of a gerbil now. That's a step up for me! ;)


Pour your heart out! I'm listening.