Two achievements, the Embroidery parterres and the Grand Canal, have made the name Le Nôtre go down in history. The main attraction of this UNESCO site is the Palace of Versailles, also known as Chateau de Versailles. A hunting-lodge built for King Louis XIII in 1623, Versailles was rebuilt with extensive gardens from 1631. Versailles was the royal residence of France for little more than a century (from 1682 until 1789) when the French Revolution began. But was Versailles all boundless gardens and champagne? Versailles is the most famous garden in the world. The garden is open every day from 8.00 to 20.00. Pleased with the location, Louis ordered the construction of a hunting lodge in 1624. In reality, however, it’s nearly impossible to see the Versailles domaine all at once, a fact which bears witness to the talent of Le Nôtre. Versailles was designed as a palatial centre of government for an absolute monarch, Louis XIV. It was a small house for built by Louis XV for his mistress, Mme du Pompadour. Louis XIII, who lived 1601-1643, bought up land, built a chateau and went on hunting trips. The Grand Canal at the Palace of Versailles is without a doubt André Le Nôtre’s most famous work. A labyrinth constructed during the reign of Louis XIV was replaced by the Queen’s Grove, which became a scene of intrigue during the Affair of the Diamond Necklace. There’s no such thing as a French-style garden without an embroidery parterre! The Grand Trianon was originally erected as a retreat for Louis XIV in 1670, but in 1687 Hardouin-Mansart built a new palace on the site. By signing up for this email, you are agreeing to news, offers, and information from Encyclopaedia Britannica. At the time, much of the land around Versailles was uncultivated, allowing wild animals to flourish.The chateau Louis XIII built was little more than a hunting lodge having enough space to house the king and a small entourage. Under King Louis XIV it became the main royal residence … The gardens are made up of pools, monumental sculpture, and thoughtfully planned paths. Escape the guillotine and head to the Hall of Mirrors to reflect on these 44 decadent facts about the Palace of Versailles. The Latona Fountain, designed by André Le Nôtre and sculpted by Gaspard and Balthazard Marsy, inspired by Ovid's. Louis XV, after establishing a botanic garden, commissioned Ange-Jacques Gabriel to build the Petit Trianon for the comtesse du Barry. The gardens surrounding the palace were designed by Louis Le Vau and André Le Notre. For Louis XIII, the place was not only a refuge where he could enjoy hunting but a place where he could get away from the authority of his mother, Marie de Medici, who would guarantee his ascension to the throne. However, the Grand Canal has two lateral canals that are not the same size; one measures 62 meters and the other 80 meters wide. The Palace of Versailles was originally constructed in 1624 as a simple, two-story hunting lodge. Designed by Philibert Le Roy, the structure, a small château, was constructed of stone and red brick, with a based roof. Old etchings show that rather than lawns bordered by a hedge of small bushes, as is the case today, parterres were the outlines of lawns traced directly onto gravel. The formal gardens at Versailles are carefully manicured, further emphasizing the wealth and power of the king. Every corner and every smallest part of the palace and of the garden was build under his dearest care. It boasts a gold-leaf Royal Gate. As a result, as the visitor advances so does the landscape reveal itself slowly but surely, much like the succession of theatre scenes that end up creating a complete story. Huttopia Versailles Facts 44. The gardens of the Palace of Versailles are in the Paris suburb of Versailles about 20km southwest of the centre of Paris. What was the Petit Trianon? The waters of the plateau between Versailles and Rambouillet were eventually collected and carried by channels to the gardens, the soil of which covers innumerable pipes, vaults, and aqueducts. The Palace of Versailles is a sight of splendor. Le Nôtre instantly turned the Tuileries Garden into a formal “ Jardin à la Française,” a garden based on symmetry and … The use of large, sweeping perspectives allows for impressive panoramas. It showed his power to all the other leaders in Europe because it was a symbol of his own achievements on how he could have a ugly swamp transformed in to a beautiful palace. André Le Nôtre is known for the finesse of his formal flowerbed compositions and for optical illusions without precedent. A broad avenue centred on the grass of the Green Carpet, it is flanked by rows of large trees and ends at the spectacular Fountain of Apollo. Other groves include the Colonnade, the King’s Grove, the Grove of Apollo’s Baths, and the Enceladus Fountain. She then commissioned a "hamlet" consisting in a faux-village — representing, perhaps, the comforting ordinariness of commoner life — and an artificial lake. The four evangelists rub shoulders with the twelve apostles, the four Fathers of the Latin Church, the four Fathers of the Greek Church and The Gobelins founderies also provided door handles, casement bolts, and decorative elements for gates. Beyond the Orangerie is the Swiss Lake, an artificial lake that replaced a stretch of problematic marshland that was known to the ancien régime as the étang puant (“stinking pond”). It’s thanks to anamorphose and the use of distorted imagery that the Grand Canal still provides an astonishing visual harmony without equal. André Le Nôtre was the most famous landscape designer of the time, creator of the French-style garden’s typology. On paper, the cross appears asymmetrical but when the King would arrive at the bassin -- or more specifically at the Latone part of the bassin -- everything appeared perfectly harmonious and symmetrical. And while the palace continues to fascinate for its vastness, excessive decoration, and curious coldness, it is the gardens that speak most profoundly to visitors. See, the area around Versailles was used as hunting grounds by French monarchs long before anyone built on the site. It is located about 20 kilometers from the French capital. There’s also a weird, dark side to the palace: controversial treaties, ghost stories, and even time travel conspiracies have piqued an interest in Versailles in modern times. Work on the gardens was started at the same time as the work on the palace and lasted for 40 or so years. Among the chief attractions of Versailles are the fountains and waterworks commissioned by Louis XIV in imitation of those at Nicolas Fouquet’s château of Vaux-le-Vicomte. In 1661 Louis XIV entrusted André Le Nôtre with the creation and renovation of the gardens of Versailles, which he considered just as important as the Palace. Beyond this lies the Neptune Fountain, built by Le Nôtre between 1679 and 1681. Orange trees outline a formal garden at Versailles, once the epicenter of French royal power. Chateau de Versailles (Palace of Versailles) represented everything supporters of the French Revolution wanted to destroy. The walkways and paths of the parks are decorated with statues, vases, and manicured yews, and they are bordered by hedges and shrubberies. Under the guidance of Louis XIV (reigned 1643–1715), the residence was transformed (1661–1710) into an immense and extravagant complex surrounded by stylized French and English gardens. Completed in 1762, it was later a favourite residence of Marie-Antoinette, who had a garden laid out in the English style, with rustic villas in which the ladies of the court could mimic peasant life. Indeed, thanks to a series of flat parterres the gardens unveil themselves with every step. The construction of Versailles allowed this. North of the terrace, manicured ornamental gardens slope gently down to the Water Walk, a path lined with bronze sculptures and geometric topiaries and bordered by imposing hedgerows. The fountain depicts the events of Ovid’s Metamorphoses. Annual spectacles and nightly attractions held in the palace gardens include son et lumière, Grandes Eaux, and an assortment of live music performances. Paris City Vision is a brand Paris Experience Group. The Gardens of the Palace of Versailles by André Le Nôtre, 1661-78, via Château de Versailles . The gardens of Versailles were planned by André Le Nôtre, perhaps the most famous and influential landscape architect in French history. Eight years later, Louis obtained the seigneury of Versailles from the Gondi family and began to make enlargements to the château. What was "Le Hameau de la reine?" Louis XIII built a hunting lodge at the village of Versailles outside of Paris in 1624. Be on the lookout for your Britannica newsletter to get trusted stories delivered right to your inbox. It represents the finest example of a “French garden.” The Versailles is a town and château in France, 20 km southwest of Paris. The Palace of Versailles, or simply Versailles, is a royal château in Versailles in the Île-de-France region of France. History of Versailles Gardens For King Louis XIV, the Gardens of Versailles were as important as the Royal Palace. The crescent-shaped fountain is remarkable for its fine sculptures and the enormous volume of water projected by its 99 jets. Ring in the new year with a Britannica Membership. The palace he built of gilded, marble clad, and mirrored rooms was large enough to accommodate his entire government. Palace of Versailles Facts. The Fountain of Apollo, designed by Jean-Baptiste Tuby, in the gardens of the Palace of Versailles. Those that currently exist at Versailles are reconstructed ones that date from the 1920s and are therefore not entirely faithful to the originals. The gardens of Versailles were planned by André Le Nôtre, perhaps the most famous and influential landscape architect in French history. The palace though is closed on Mondays and the Trianon Palace and Marie-Antoinette's Estate are only open in afternoons (not Monday). This royal chateau was built on an 11th-century small village; today, Versailles is known as a wealthy suburb in Paris. Around the Green Carpet are numerous groves, perhaps the most remarkable being the Ballroom Grove, a landscaped amphitheatre that features an artificial waterfall. Every detail of its construction was intended to glorify the king. In fact, King Henry IV went hunting there with his son, King Louis XIII, and they stayed at local inns. The landscape architect was also given the title Controller General of the King’s Garden. Palace of Versailles: The Palace of Versailles, is an enormous building that was the home of the French royal family for many years. Another reason why Louis xiv ordered Versailles to be built is because showed his power in Europe. The decision to have monumental sculpted decoration on the balustrade and the pediment of the Royal Chapel was taken in around 1705. Beyond the fountain, the line of walk is continued by the Grand Canal, a 200-foot- (60-metre-) wide 1-mile- (1.6-km-) long waterway. Today, it's a symbol of extravagance and wealth, but as all great buildings do, the Palace of Versailles has (relatively) humble beginnings. Napoleon restored the châteaux and used them for official business and as a resort for his second wife, Marie-Louise. One must understand the young Sun King’s ambition in order to grasp the plans conceived for gardens of Versailles. André Le Nôtre, the King’s gardener, was the man behind the famous gardens of Versailles. He handed over the task of landscaping and the garden around the Palace to French landscape architect called André Le Nôtre. Because he sought a world of pleasure and luxury in which he and his court could thrive, the Sun King chose the castle of his father, Louis XIII. That’s why in 1661 commissioned André Le Nôtre to design the layout of the gardens and decoration. The main bassin in the form of a cross measures 23 hectares. To the south of the terrace, raised flower beds lead to a pair of staircases that flank the Orangerie, a grove planned by Hardouin-Mansart in 1685 that includes more than 1,000 trees. Behind the palace, the ground falls away on every side from a terrace adorned with ornamental basins, statues, and bronze groups. Gardens behind the Palace of Versailles, France, designed by the landscape architect André Le Nôtre. Until his death in 1715, Versailles ruled France, then the most powerful kingdom of Europe. In the early seventeenth century, Gondi invited Louis XIII on several hunting trips in the forests surrounding Versailles. Versailles before Louis XIV. The landscape artist’s task was to create a perfect visual harmony. After ascending to the throne in 1610, … A humble gardener without specialized training, Le Nôtre designed and conceived a series of gardens, groves, and parks for the palace and its domaine. The palace that was built for him at Versailles, outside Paris, became the model for palaces throughout the continent. In the 17th century, Louis XIV of France was famous for his power and wealth. It was his successor, Louis XIV (1638-1… Louis was building Versailles almost all his life. To emphasize the power of the monarchy, the garden had to be grandiose, something which was emphasized even more at the Palace of Versailles. Why was it built? His work, skilfully ordered and composed, inspired many others. The gardens were manicured and, in 1664, were the setting for lavish parties organised in Louise de La Vallière's honour, on the theme of 'Delights of the Enchanted Island'. Before becoming today’s vast domain made up of parks and gardens, Versailles was the hunting grounds for the young Louis XIII and his father, King Henry IV, where a hunting pavilion and later a palace were built. King Louis XIV, the Sun King, spent nearly 50 years expanding the palace, and in1682, he moved both the royal residence and French seat of government to Versailles. The Trianons were ransacked during the Revolution, and most of the original furniture was lost. Used in many of the statues both in the buildings and the gardens, it was also frequently used in the manufacturing of pipes and dials regulating the flow from the foutains. Jardins de Vaux le Vicomte, created by Le Nôtre. The work that André Le Nôtre carried out for the Château de Versailles marked not only his career but the history of France. For Louis XIII, the place was not only a refuge where he could enjoy hunting but a place where he could get away from the authority of his mother, Marie de … During Louis XIV’s tenure at Versailles, Venetian gondolas traversed the Grand Canal, and modern visitors to the palace can ply the same waters in small rowboats. This type of garden is geometric in nature and traces symmetric, arabesque lawns in front of buildings. The Versailles gardens, designed by André Le Nôtre, have been a worldwide reference since the 17th century. The gardens at the Palace of Versailles, France, designed by André Le Nôtre. Bedroom in the Louis XIV style, Grand Trianon, Palace of Versailles, France. France's kings were first attracted to Versailles because of the area's prolific game. At the time, this technical prowess was the result of a slow-motion optical perspective that initially provides onlookers with the impression that the canal is much larger than it really is. The royal stables were often mistaken for the castle entry and held 2,000 horses. Chateau de Versailles Garden Guide. The Royal Walk extends westward from the palace. The representation of Versailles in 1668 by Pierre Patel, with the newly designed gardens by Le Notre and the older Louis XIII castle, helps us understand the work ordered by Sun King and accomplished in forty nine years, from 1661 until 1710, to build Versailles. It was a smaller residence in the gardens of Versailles, built by Louis XIV, for the royal family during the summer. During the late 17th century, the Palace of Versailles served as the seat of the Kingdom of France. (think about the Tuilerie gardens, the Luxembourg gardens, Vaux le Vicomte gardens, Saint Cloud gardens…). Beyond the present park (but within the grounds at the time of Louis XIV) are two smaller châteaux known as the Trianons. These works of art are also a paradise representative of the ambitions of Louis XIV when he was a young king. A second stage of development work began in 1668, which was evidently more ambitious. Vast sums of money were spent and many lives were lost in an attempt to bring water from the Eure, but work was stopped as a result of the War of the Grand Alliance. Palm, pomegranate, lemon, and orange are among the varieties represented, with tropical and subtropical species being moved indoors during winter months. His achievements were, and still are, considered to be the work of a genius and spanned 25 long years during which the gardens of Versailles would continue to grow in size and in splendor. Many fixtures are made of marble, and gardens enhance the landscapes of the region. This showed the other rulers of his greatness and of how he had absolute power in … The gardens. He was the most important monarch in Europe. History of Versailles Gardens While planning the Palace of Versailles, Louis XIV gave equal importance to the garden around it. The scale is monumental and there is little sense of enclosure. The path concludes at the Dragon Fountain, which features a spray of water that rises nearly 90 feet (27 metres) into the air. Beginning in 1777, the Queen ordered a redesign of the Trianon estate; she first has English Gardens built to contrast with the stark rationalism and pomp of the existing gardens at Versailles. There really was a King of France named Louis XIV who built an impressive palace in the Paris suburb of Versailles and surrounded it with spectacular gardens which included an outdoor ballroom, but he didn't look like Hans Gruber from "Die Hard" and young Rose from "Titanic" was not involved. Although Jean-Baptiste Colbert, Minister of Finance, wanted to demolish everything, the young King preferred to integrate the old building with the new. The carefully chosen subject matter of the decoration mixes allegory with great figures of Christianity. Directly west of the terrace is the Latona Fountain, designed by Le Nôtre and sculpted by Gaspard and Balthazard Marsy. It became the palace of Louis XIV, the The small structure became the base on which was constructed one of the most costly and extravagant buildings in the world. Before becoming today’s vast domain made up of parks and gardens, Versailles was the hunting grounds for the young Louis XIII and his father, King Henry IV, where a hunting pavilion and later a palace were built. Because of the scarcity of water at Versailles, elaborate waterworks were constructed at Marly-le-Roi to tap the Seine, but part of the supply thus obtained was diverted to the newly erected royal château at Marly. He never saw Versailles ready because he had always new ideas for building or rebuilding, so Versailles was under construction till his death. The Versailles gardens took 40 years to complete, and Louis XIV valued them as much as the palace. 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