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Water Theatre Grove

Accueil Water Theatre Grove


The Theater grove was laid out between 1671 and 1674, allowing hydraulic engineers François and Pierre Francine to deploy their talents to the full. Conceived as an open-air theater, the bosquet consisted of a space for spectators and a stage devoted to the spectacle of water, which offered every possible combination and often formed figures considered to be veritable technical feats of strength. Costly to maintain, the Theater grove disappeared at the end of the 18th century, replaced by the modest Rond-Vert grove. In 2009, the Château de Versailles launched an international competition to redevelop the site. The project by landscape architect Louis Benech and artist Jean-Michel Othoniel was chosen, and the new grove was inaugurated in 2015.

To the west of the grove, a small pool was created in 1709, depicting an island with children frolicking in gilded metal.

Set on the edge of the Theater grove, the Golden Children’s Pool was created in 1709 by Jules Hardouin-Mansart. Elliptical in shape, its center features a group of eight lead cherubs sculpted from 1704 by Jean Hardy, originally for the ponds in the park at Marly, but finally transferred to Versailles in 1709. A true masterpiece of lead statuary in the gardens of Versailles, it testifies to Louis XIV’s taste for childhood after the multiple deaths of his descendants that cast a shadow over the end of his reign. Made possible thanks to the patronage of the BNP Paribas Foundation and the skills patronage of D’Huart Industrie, the restoration of the Golden Children’s Pool took place in 2016.



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