An Eastward Homage, Day 8: Versailles, Part 2- The Grand Gardens

Everyone needs a place in nature, where one may recover one’s senses and restore equilibrium.  The Bourbon royalty were no different from the rest of us, in that regard.  After taking in the Great Chateau, and all its opulence, I also needed some time in nature.

So, here are some scenes of the King’s Grove, the Queen’s Grove, the Dauphin’s Grove, and bosques set aside for just about anyone who lived at the Chateau.  Just outside the Chateau, there are small, well-manicured gardens and a great fountain, en route to the Ballustrade which itself overlooks Les Bois Royaux.

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Here is a long view of Allee Royale:


Once I made my way down the stairs, and into the King’s and Dauphin’s Groves, I found myself in the company of several school children, engaged in a fabulous game of Hide  and Seek, in the Dauphin’s Labyrinth.  To me, one of the great tragedies of the French Revolution was that no one gave thought to the three children of Louis and Marie Antoinette.  They died in childhood, in prisons, and the Labyrinth sat silent.  Thankfully, it was not silent on Tuesday, June 3.


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Those who ventured forth saw scenes such as these:

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Eventually, I made my way back to more manicured scenes, near the Queen’s Grove, and the restoration area- not the Restoration of the Bourbons, but that of the forest.

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I walked on down to the Grand Canal’s edge, and enjoyed Les Parterres, L’Orangerie, and their water-borne sculptures, including  the Apollo  Fountain,


and Bassin de Latone (Latona Fountain).


Here is a final nod to the man who got this all started.


At this point of decision, I elected to forego Les Trianons (Marie Antoinette’s private estate) and spend some time in the city of Versailles.  That marvelous counterpart to the Palace will be featured next.

13 thoughts on “An Eastward Homage, Day 8: Versailles, Part 2- The Grand Gardens

    • They have always been my focus. Louis XVII, the last Dauphin, lived only to age ten, or so it is said. Some think he was trained as a carpenter, and was brought to the Vendee, in western France, to live out his life in a preferred obscurity.


  1. Beautiful and sad. You would think that some of the 1% might take a lesson from the story of the French Revolution. I haven’t heard any of them say, “let them eat cake,” but they might as well.


    • The “great princess”, to whom Jean- Jacques Rousseau attributed the comment about brioche, has never been clearly identified. Marie-Antoinette would have been too young, and was in Salzburg, when Rousseau wrote “Confessions”. Her role in fomenting the Revolution is quite clear, though. She spent huge sums of money that the royal treasury actually didn’t have, on just about anything that caught her interest, including, ironically, the plight of the poor.


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