Gardens and parks of Versailles

Table of contents:

Gardens and parks of Versailles
Gardens and parks of Versailles

Surprisingly, a few centuries ago, a stunning royal palace, the greatness of which are real legends, was just a small village near Paris. The sprawling estate, which stretched over eight thousand hectares, became the home of the rulers of France and the place where political intrigues were woven. Today, no tourist who dreams of getting to know Paris better will not bypass one of the most popular tourist attractions.

Construction history

They say that the history of the construction of the palace, in which everything breathed luxury, began after the glory of the large-scale and majestic castle of the country's finance minister reached Louis XIV. When the “sun king” saw with his own eyes the splendor of decoration, he realized that the residence of his subject was much more beautiful than his own. Of course, the ruler of France could not stand this and thought about a palace that would overshadow all the others with its we alth.

Versailles parks

After the recent uprising, living in the Louvre was unsafe, so the king chose to buildlocated outside the city of Versailles. The palace and the park, which became the national treasure of the French, did not appear immediately.

Large-scale works and huge costs

For starters, the entire area occupied by swamps was drained, then it was covered with earth and stones. After careful leveling of the soil, scaffolding was brought to the small hunting lodge for the future construction of the royal residence.

1661 marked the start of construction. It is known about thirty thousand performers employed in the work, which were joined by sailors and soldiers on the orders of Louis XIV. During the construction of the palace, there was a very tight economy on materials sold to the workers of the ruler of France at the lowest prices, but the total amount of funds spent exceeded 25 million lire, which by modern standards is more than 250 billion euros.

Palace City

The official opening of the Palace of Versailles took place 21 years later, but the construction did not stop. The architectural masterpiece was constantly growing with new buildings until the French Revolution began in 1789. A small village turned into a real city, in which not only the royal family lived with the courtiers, but also all the servants and guards.

Versailles: gardens and parks

The residence included a huge garden and park ensemble, the laying of which was verified with mathematical precision and was subject to symmetry, so all landscape elements have strict geometric shapes. Ideally round fountain complexes, colorful flower beds made in the form of patterns and absolutely smooththe alleys followed the idea of ​​a clear layout.

park of versailles versailles

The huge parks of Versailles were designed by the famous landscape architect Le Nôtre, who adhered to the classical style. No wonder they were considered the most perfect creation of that era. A lush green fence created real labyrinths and corridors in which marble sculptures of ancient gods were hidden. Such a harmonious combination of architecture and vegetation evoked a feeling of admiration. It is believed that this was the fashion for the perfectly flat parks of Versailles in the classic French style, as if lined strictly along the line with an underlined division into mirror symmetry.

Single palace and park ensemble

A special atmosphere of solemnity is given by small architectural elements located in the park - bridges, ramps and stairs. And the lush vegetation unusually looks through the transparent jets of working fountains. Artificially created kilometer-long canals flowed throughout the pompous park. The colorful lawns were decorated with geometric designs made of flowers.

Le Nôtre united the palace and the landscape gardening complex into a single ensemble, which became an important feature of Versailles. The architect took into account the peculiarities of the Baroque gardens of Holland and used a three-beam composition, consisting of straight alleys that diverged in different directions. At their intersection were the most picturesque landscapes, and it seemed as if they stretched for several kilometers. It is this architectural solution that the park of Versailles is famous for.

versailles gardens and parks

Versailles, which became a real monument to the reign of the "Sun King", was a grandiose ensemble, where nature obeyed the architectural lines of the palace - the dominant of the park complex. And the whole composition of the royal residence was subject to a single idea of ​​praising the most powerful of all the kings of the state.

Open floor plan

The open-plan park of Versailles in France, perfectly visible from all sides, reflected the idea of ​​Le Nôtre, who dreamed of showing the absence of enclosed space. He used the reverse perspective effect, which allows, when moving away from the heart of the park, to see the growth of some elements with an enlargement of their pattern. The talented Frenchman subtly thought out the sequence of visual perception of the overall composition of the ensemble.

The beautiful park of Versailles (France), which was monitored by about a thousand workers, was perfectly visible from any window of the royal residence. In the view of the landscape architect, the green zone was supposed to look like a real city with paved streets, triumphal arches, columns and galleries.

Own fleet

It is impossible not to admire the view of the Grand Canal, whose area exceeds 20 hectares. Designed by Le Nôtre, it symbolizes the maritime superiority of the French flotilla. During the colorful holidays loved by Louis, colorful fireworks illuminated the dark canal.

versailles palace and park

During the reign of the "Sun King" a special flotilla was created, consisting ofcopies of warships, yachts and longboats, which invariably delighted contemporaries. Knowing the special love of Louis, the Venetian doges presented him with a gondola, which became a real decoration of the collection. Diplomats who arrived at the talks from afar saw the masts on ships cruising along the water surface of the canal, which froze in winter, turning into a skating rink.

The view from the open terraces of Versailles surprised everyone with a special visual effect that Le Nôtre liked to use so much: it created a deceptive impression that the canal was very close to those standing, although it was not.

Park Fountains

The Royal Park in Versailles boasts magnificent fountains that are still in operation today, and their continuous operation was considered a real technical breakthrough of that era. They were connected into a single hydraulic system, which improved with the development of progress and made it possible to pump water from the most distant sources of the country.

versailles park photo

The fountains were entire sculptural complexes consisting of several platforms. And the cast figure of Apollo, emerging from the water and facing Versailles, was considered the central image. The juxtaposition of the radiant god, who personified the Sun, with the powerful monarch emphasized the splendor of the royal palace. In addition, Louis patronized the arts in the same way that Apollo patronized the muses.

The superiority of the palace over the park

But Le Nôtre did not forget that the Palace of Versailles should dominate, showing its clear superiority over the park complex, which the French consider the mostcharming all over the globe.

The unique park of Versailles fits perfectly into the architecture of the king's residence. Versailles with strict proportions and lines does not seem monotonous, but on the contrary, it makes an incredible impression with a riot of colors and special magnificence. From certain points, the guests of the complex observe a linear perspective of space organized with mathematical precision.

UNESCO Heritage

UNESCO World Heritage since 1979 takes all visitors to the era of the conceited king like a time machine. Luxurious gardens and parks of Versailles served as a huge theater stage for the inhabitants of the palace. Grand celebrations, mass celebrations, mysterious masquerades were held here, which is not surprising, because Louis adored the theater and patronized it.

royal park in versailles

Troups came here to stage plays by Moliere and Racine within the walls of the palace, and the heirs of the king gathered actors for their own theater, in which noble persons participated.

Changes in the face of the park

After Louis XVI came to power, much has changed in the appearance of the green park. Shrubs and trees were ruthlessly uprooted to turn the French park into a kind of English under the influence of new political trends. However, the new aesthetic, which did not take root, was soon abandoned, and gardens in the classical style were planted again.

Five significant garden plant transplants are known. After the devastating hurricanes, thousands of trees were affected, and this was a very tangible damage that the parks sufferedVersailles.

Failed recovery

Since 1837, the former residence of the kings of Versailles has been a museum of the history of France. The park, whose photos convey fantastically beautiful green riot and clear lines, was supposed to undergo restoration under the project of large-scale restoration of the government of the country.

park versailles france

However, modern realities have made significant adjustments to this plan, and so far all work has been postponed. Contemporaries limited themselves to maintaining the life of Versailles.

Popular topic