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Accueil Gardens

Louis XIV inspired and guided the design and building of the gardens of Château de Versailles first by André Le Nôtre, then by Jules Hardouin-Mansart from 1676. André Le Nôtre was Louis XIV’s first gardener; he undertook the creation of the garden in 1662, with the valuable help of the Francines, a family hydraulic engineers, who helped him to respond to the King’s request in four years only.

Open to the public as soon as the court moved to Versailles in 1682, the château gardens were very popular. The sovereign himself went every day. During his walks, the fountains were played, but to save water and ensure that the jets would rise high, only the fountains the King could see were activated. The fountaineers communicated with a whistle to inform each other of the King’s progression and open the sluice gates as the King approached. Each year, for the King’s name day, Saint Louis, the crowds of visitors could see the all fountains all playing at the same time.

Today, the Fountains Shows tradition continues during the fine season from March to October, in the gardens listed on the UNESCO World Heritage list and awarded the Jardin Remarquable award. The Musical Fountains Shows, the Musical Gardens and the Night Fountains Shows are the occasion for the public to visit the 15 groves, true “open-air salons” at the heart of the garden, to the sound of baroque music, as the King used to enjoy them.

The Orangerie, located lower is also the venue for summer festivities.

See the virtual tour


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