Versailles: The Vicissitudes Of The Trianon Gardens And The Royal Garden

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Versailles: The Vicissitudes Of The Trianon Gardens And The Royal Garden
Versailles: The Vicissitudes Of The Trianon Gardens And The Royal Garden

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Video: Jardins de Trianon 2023, January
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Versailles: nooks for royal leisure, Versailles: a useful hobby of Louis XV

Pastoral Trianon of Marie Antoinette

In May 1774, Louis XVI ascended the throne. One of the primary tasks of the young king was to replace the old trees and shrubs in the gardens of Versailles with new plantings. The felling of these outdated giants was organized in two stages and began in the fall of 1774. The artist Hubert Robert witnessed the "great" felling and renovation of the gardens of Versailles.

J. Robert
J. Robert

J. Robert "Cutting down trees in the gardens of Versailles"

J. Robert
J. Robert

J. Robert "Construction of the Apollo Baths"

Plan of the Labyrinth of Versailles 1677 Illustration by S. Leclerc
Plan of the Labyrinth of Versailles 1677 Illustration by S. Leclerc

Plan of the Labyrinth of Versailles 1677 Illustration by S. Leclerc

The replacement of plants was carried out taking into account the original layout of Le Nôtre. Instead of the felled ones, 6,000 young oaks, 3,000 poplars, 2,000 maples and the same number of birches and hornbeams were planted. In some places, green hornbeam walls, requiring regular shearing, were replaced by more economical avenues of free-standing trees, and a simpler Queen's bosquet was erected instead of the complex Labyrinth. This is where the famous scene of the meeting of the dummy queen with Cardinal Rogan from the case of the queen's necklace will soon unfold.

The Petit Trianon was presented to the Queen by Louis XVI in 1774 on the occasion of his accession to the throne. From that moment on, the territory of the Trianon was at the complete disposal of Marie-Antoinette. Let's not forget that the end of the 18th century is the time of encyclopedists and Rousseau's ideas with his idealization of patriarchal life in the bosom of nature.

A. Richard's project. Garden in the Anglo-Chinese style. 1774 g
A. Richard's project. Garden in the Anglo-Chinese style. 1774 g

A. Richard's project. Garden in the Anglo-Chinese style. 1774 g.

The Queen commissioned Antoine Richard to design a landscape park with a fashionable Chinese garden. Competently assessing the importance of the areas undergoing redevelopment, Richard tried to preserve the Trianon Botanical Garden, partially including it in his project. But the idea seemed boring to the queen, and she listened to the advice of the Count de Caraman, who had already created something similar on his estate, and handed over the order to Richard Mique (fr. Richard Mique; 1728-1794) and landscape painter Hubert Robert (fr. Hubert Robert, 1733-1808).

A. Richard's project. Green theater, aviary and kiosk
A. Richard's project. Green theater, aviary and kiosk

A. Richard's project. Green theater, aviary and kiosk

The project, approved by the Queen, was carried out by the architect Richard Meek and the gardener Claude Richard. The creation of a landscape park on the site of a botanical garden required significant efforts and costs. In 1774, 4000 rare exhibits of the Louis XV botanical garden were moved to the Royal Botanic Garden of Paris (which later became the Botanical Garden of Paris, French Jardin des plantes de Paris). The liquidation of the Trianon Botanical Gardens provoked indignant responses from botanists throughout Europe.

In the vacant place, they began to build a new relief. If all exotic plants were transferred to Paris, this does not mean that the queen decided to acquire an easier park. For two years, a pond, streams, bridges, lawns, pavilions and even a rock have appeared on the renewed relief. The windows of the queen's chambers looked at the Temple of Cupid with a round colonnade, standing on an island. On the shore of the pond in 1778-81 the octahedral Music Pavilion or Belvedere was built, and not far from it - a grotto with caves.

Versailles. Temple of Cupid
Versailles. Temple of Cupid

Versailles. Temple of Cupid

The landscape park was re-planted from no less rare tree species. But now their planting was dictated not by the plant classification system, but by their spectacular combination, which forms a well-planned "natural natural" landscape. The traditions of plant selection have survived to this day. And now in the park you can see the giant sequoiadendron, planted in 1876. The paths of the park are decorated with bushes of various varieties of evergreen holly.

Versailles. Sequoiadendron, planted in 1876
Versailles. Sequoiadendron, planted in 1876

Versailles. Sequoiadendron, planted in 1876

Versailles. Holly in the garden of Trianon
Versailles. Holly in the garden of Trianon

Versailles. Holly in the garden of Trianon

Against this carefully selected landscape background, the Le Nôtre Springs bosquet loses its charm, and in 1776 it was demolished, replaced by an ordinary parterre. The only reminder of the bosquet is the sculpture by Marcy "Cupid riding a dolphin" (1704).

The cheerful and windy Marie Antoinette was an actress by nature, she always needed an audience and a stage. If she had not become a queen, perhaps she would have played this role in her dreams all her life, and having become a queen, she began to feel burdened by the obligation of strict etiquette and enthusiastically played the roles of frivolous maids and pastoral shepherdesses. This was also facilitated by the general atmosphere of society with Rousseau's fashionable ideas about equality. There was little left to do - to equip a place where the queen could look dignified as a servant.

In 1775, amateur theatrical performances by a troupe of courtiers and the queen were staged in the hall or gallery of the Grand Trianon. The next year they were transferred to the Orangery of the Petit Trianon and, finally, in 1780, the building of the new Theater of the Queen was built in the garden of Trianon. The building built by Richard Meek reproduced the Versailles Opera in miniature. The architect paid special attention to the complex mechanisms of the stage, the size of which significantly exceeded the size of the auditorium. It remained to create a village for the performance of pastoral roles of shepherdesses.

In 1783, by order of Marie-Antoinette, a village of a dozen rural houses was built on the bank of a pond near the Petit Trianon. This corner of pastoral rural life becomes the Queen's second stage. Here she loves to spend time with children and friends. The English garden blend harmoniously into the village, separated from it by a moat. The peace and idyll of the queen's village life was guarded by a Swiss guard.

In her village, Marie Antoinette acquired a farm, her own dairy production, a dovecote, a mill, a barn, a fishing shop, and a security house. In 1786 the construction of the village was completed. By now, the cheese dairy and the barn, which were used as a ballroom, have disappeared; they were destroyed during the reign of Napoleon.

Versailles. House in the village of Marie Antoinette
Versailles. House in the village of Marie Antoinette

Versailles. House in the village of Marie Antoinette

Versailles. Malbrook Tower
Versailles. Malbrook Tower

Versailles. Malbrook Tower

The roofs of the houses were covered with reeds, cracks were drawn on the walls entwined with wisteria and vines. The galleries and balconies were adorned with identical white earthenware pots with the blue monogram of Marie Antoinette, in which geraniums and levkoi blossomed. Richard Meek ordered 1,232 pots from his own factory in Lorraine. The design traditions are still maintained. Brightly colored pelargonium bushes in blue and white pots still adorn the houses outside.

Each house had its own small garden where artistically planted vegetables grew - cabbage, cauliflower, artichokes, herbs, fruit trees and shrubs - apple trees, cherries, raspberries.

Versailles. Garden near the house in the village of Marie Antoinette
Versailles. Garden near the house in the village of Marie Antoinette

Versailles. Garden near the house in the village of Marie Antoinette

Versailles. Queen's house
Versailles. Queen's house

Versailles. Queen's house

The interior decoration of the houses was luxurious, unlike their unassuming appearance. The Queen's House, the largest structure in the Village, is actually two buildings connected by a wooden gallery. On the right is the queen's house itself, where the dining room and the study for games were located on the ground floor, and on the ground floor there were two salons and a Chinese study, sparkling with gold, silk and marble. Building on the left - Billiard room with small apartments.

In the basement of the Malbrook tower, which stands on the bank of the pond, fish caught in the pond were processed. The large pond was densely populated with carp and pike. Carps are still teeming in the pond, so when you go to Trianon, do not forget to grab a piece of bread for these voracious creatures the size of an elbow, they are always eagerly awaiting tourists and will never disappoint you with a lack of appetite. If you go into the only open house on the bank of the pond, you will see a marble floor, a bench and a fountain - details that are not at all typical for peasant life.

Versailles. The inhabitants of the pond in the village of Marie Antoinette
Versailles. The inhabitants of the pond in the village of Marie Antoinette

Versailles. The inhabitants of the pond in the village of Marie Antoinette

Versailles. The interior of the house on the shore of the pond
Versailles. The interior of the house on the shore of the pond

Versailles. The interior of the house on the shore of the pond

At the edge of the village there was a Farm, where various domestic animals lived: a small herd of eight cows and one bull, ten goats led by a snow-white peace-loving goat, sheep, poultry and pigeons in the dovecote. Cream and butter were whipped from fresh milk on the farm, and fresh cheese was ripened in a cheese factory. The Queen loved to play the role of a farmer, treating the few friends admitted to this world with fresh dairy products "from her own farm", served in exquisite china.

Farm in the village of Marie Antoinette
Farm in the village of Marie Antoinette

Farm in the village of Marie Antoinette

Horses in the village
Horses in the village

Horses in the village

Far from the pastoral ostentatious village, there was a real meat and dairy farm. There were meadows for grazing cows, sheep and horses, from these thoroughbred animals they chose a replacement for the "actors" - animals in the village of Korolyov. In these meadows, even now you can see herds of "doubles" of cows, sheep, horses.

Trianon under the scorching sun of the republic

The revolution brought a lot of troubles to all royal residences. Versailles did not escape the fate of serving the people. According to the decree of the Convention in 1792, the palace furniture was sold, the Versailles park was divided into parts for rent and lease, the bosquets were destroyed, and some of the trees were cut down.

The manager of the botanical gardens, Louis Claude Richard (1754-1821) - the grandson of Claude Richard, who cultivated the gardens of Versailles with his own hands - tried to save the Versailles Park from total destruction. The only thing that could force the Convention to deviate from the desire to destroy everything created earlier, was to extract practical use from the remaining property of the "world of violence." Therefore, Richard proposes not only to lease out the park's plots, but also to use parterres for vegetable gardens, and the open areas of the park for planting fruit trees.

Fortunately, hands did not reach the realization of all these ideas then. But the gardens were reopened for unimpeded public visits. Art values ​​were moved to the Louvre, which became the main art museum in France. In the fountains and pools, they again washed clothes, hanging them to dry right on the surrounding bushes. The Grand Canal dried up due to the destruction of the water supply system. The park was barbarously trampled, cut down and disfigured. But against the bleak background of what is happening, the Convention issued in 1794 a decree banning the sale of the palace, which made it possible to preserve it for posterity.

The area of ​​the palace and park complex decreased by 10 times after the revolution: from 8000 hectares to 850 hectares. A hotel was established in the Little Trianon, a cafe in the French Pavilion, and the French Garden turned into a public ballroom. Many festivities and balls were held at the Grand Trianon. The palaces and park areas, which were not designed for such intensive exploitation, which in some places were turned into profitable gardens and pastures, and in places were simply abandoned, were quickly destroyed.

In 1797, the Directory decided to preserve the park for educational purposes, the Museum of Art of the French School was opened in the large palace, while the works of foreign schools were collected in the Louvre. But these and subsequent positive changes in the fate of the Palace of Versailles did not affect Trianon, which was not part of the Versailles museum complex at that time.

For the first time since the revolution, crowds of people marched to Versailles on July 19, 1801. This time with the most peaceful intentions! On this day, the launch of all the fountains of Versailles, which had been inactive for so long, was scheduled.

Versailles. Trianon of Napoleon
Versailles. Trianon of Napoleon

Versailles. Trianon of Napoleon

The restoration of the palace and park ensemble requires huge investments, which are more necessary for the Directory and Napoleon to wage constant wars. In order to preserve the status of a national museum for Versailles after the overthrow of the Directory, Napoleon in 1801 issued a decree on the creation of the Versailles Museum in the Grand Palace. Since 1805 Napoleon made Trianon an imperial residence and ordered the restoration of the park on the shrinking territory of Versailles. Minimal care allowed the dying park to be brought back to life. One could only dream of a complete restoration, but the shallow and dirty Grand Canal was cleared and filled with water. The Versailles flotilla again plied the waters of the canal.

It took four years to restore the Grand and Petite Trianon. At the request of Josephine, the openings in the "peristyle" of the Grand Trianon were closed with stained-glass windows, the premises were re-decorated and furnished according to the sketches approved by her. But she did not get to live in the renewed Trianon. After her divorce from Napoleon in December 1809, Josephine locked herself in Malmaison, and the emperor in Trianon. In 1809-13. Napoleon often visited the Trianon. The second wife of the emperor, young Marie-Louise, liked this quiet, cozy little world. Napoleon tried to combine the comfort of a quiet family nest with his tireless activities of a statesman and commander-in-chief of a constantly fighting army. In what other royal palace can you see among the apartments the Topographic Cabinet or the Malachite Salon, decorated with works of Ural stone-cutters,presented as a gift to Napoleon by the implacable enemy of Alexander I? By order of the emperor, a direct road was drawn to the Trianon, bypassing the grand courtyard of the large Versailles palace, and two guardhouse pavilions for 50 people each were built at the entrance to the residence.

Versailles. Topographic study of Napoleon at the Grand Trianon
Versailles. Topographic study of Napoleon at the Grand Trianon

Versailles. Topographic study of Napoleon at the Grand Trianon

Versailles. Malachite Salon
Versailles. Malachite Salon

Versailles. Malachite Salon

In 1810 the Emperor ordered Jacob Desmalter to restore the houses of the Village of Marie Antoinette. Of all the buildings, only the barn, which served as a ballroom, and the cheese dairy did not survive, they were completely dilapidated and were demolished. The village and the theater of the Queen fell in love with Marie-Louise, they reminded her, like her predecessor Marie Antoinette, of the simplicity of Viennese manners.

Since 1830, the entire territory of the Trianon, including both palaces, the Village of Marie Antoinette, the Queen's Theater and the adjacent part, entered the architectural complex of Versailles and acquired the status of a state museum. For a long period of time after Napoleon's abdication, the palaces of Trianon did not find constant use. They were occasionally used either to hold a wedding in a family of reigning persons, or for a demonstration military tribunal on charges of treason, or to conclude a peace treaty between the countries participating in the First World War.

In 1959, Charles de Gaulle intended to make the Grand Trianon the presidential residence, but the estimated cost of refurbishing the palace did not allow this intention to be realized. On July 31, 1962, a law was passed to restore the historical appearance of the Trianon, and in 1963, the Grand Trianon was restored and refurbished with antique furniture from other palaces. The restored building was used for state official receptions. In 1982, the G7 summit was held here, guests of the President of France were accommodated in the wing of the Forest Trianon.

The painstaking work to restore the Trianon Gardens began in 2003. from a careful analysis of historical documents, which revealed that the original design of the Trianon gardens included landscape segments in the form of various geometric shapes - triangles, semicircles, octagon, etc. Hornbeam alleys connected these segments of the park with each other.

The first to begin to restore the triangular sector. The "viewports" cut into the double hedges opened up the vista of a regular park with clear rows of citrus fruits in tubs. Currently, we will not see "embroidered parterres" of flowers in pots dug into the ground, as well as citrus fruits growing in the ground. But knowing the long history of the Trianon Gardens, we can imagine how magnificent the guests of Louis XIV saw them.

Revival of the Royal Garden

In 1782, with the death of the last director of the Royal Garden of the Le Normans, the farm was taken over by Alexander Brown, an English gardener. The new director transformed the garden area: he reduced the size of the pond in the center of the Big Square and dismantled the walls between the eleven plots on the northern terrace, forming five plots.

Versailles. Royal vegetable garden
Versailles. Royal vegetable garden

Versailles. Royal vegetable garden

Versailles. Royal vegetable garden
Versailles. Royal vegetable garden

Versailles. Royal vegetable garden

The vegetable garden continued to live and function. At the end of the 18th century, vegetables and fruits are still grown here: pineapples and coffee, herbs, apples and pears. But research activity is dying out, because Louis XVI is more passionate about locksmithing than botany.

During the cruel revolutionary times, the vegetable garden was preserved thanks to its agricultural products. In 1793, the plots of the vegetable garden were leased, the "useless" pineapple bushes were sold off, as were all the implements, and the diagonally planted garden, oriented towards the sun, was turned into a test stand for weapons.

In 1795 the Directory nationalized the former Royal Vegetable Garden and opened a horticultural school and research center here.

If the fate of Versailles and Trianon still fell into the field of vision of Napoleon during his reign, then the Royal Garden did not find a place there. Against the backdrop of constant wars, fresh vegetables and fruits least of all worried the emperor, who was never known as a gourmet. Most of the garden was neglected, and many trees died in the gardens. Time passed, the Napoleonic wars were left behind. The vegetable garden is revived and continues to live: the orchard has been renewed and early vegetables have been planted again. A series of revolutions and political upheavals did not affect the fate of the garden. As a self-sustaining enterprise, it did not require government intervention. In 1829, new greenhouses were installed, heated with hot water, which made it possible to grow tropical fruits and vegetables regardless of the season, for example, in the Big Greenhouse in 1840, the first crop of bananas was obtained.

In 1848 the Vegetable Garden became part of the Agronomic National Institute, opened in Versailles. At that time, the number of varieties of fruit trees - apple, pear and peach - increased sharply here.

Versailles. Royal vegetable garden
Versailles. Royal vegetable garden

Versailles. Royal vegetable garden

Versailles. Palmettes from fruit trees
Versailles. Palmettes from fruit trees

Versailles. Palmettes from fruit trees

In 1874 the institute was transformed into the National School of Horticulture (fr. École nationale d'horticulture - ENH). In 1945, a special department of landscape design and horticultural art was opened at the school, which by 1976 grew into the National Higher School of Landscape Art (fr. École nationale supérieure du paysage - ENSP) within the ENH. The school is a higher educational institution and annually graduates 115 graduates, including landscape painters, landscape design, landscape and landscaping, and the creation of a park. In addition to teaching and research activities, the school is working to restore the history of cultivation of various plant species in Versailles.

Since 1995, the Royal Garden has remained under the jurisdiction of the Higher School of Landscape Art. Every year, more than 50 tons of fruits and 30 tons of various vegetables are produced by a vegetable garden, delighting residents of Versailles and tourists with its products. You can buy and taste royal vegetables and fruits in the markets of Versailles and in the school's shop.

Versailles. Royal vegetable garden
Versailles. Royal vegetable garden

Versailles. Royal vegetable garden

The royal garden has passed through the centuries, almost unchanged. The statue of Lacentini stands on the raised terrace of the Big Square, where Louis XIV once loved to stand, admiring the still strictly geometric shapes of vegetable beds surrounded by fruit trees on trellises.

Versailles. Royal vegetable garden
Versailles. Royal vegetable garden

Versailles. Royal vegetable garden

Versailles. Palmetta
Versailles. Palmetta

Versailles. Palmetta

Since 1991, the vegetable garden has been open to the public during the summer season (from April to October). So you can go here from the street. Joffre, a 5-minute walk from the front gate of the castle, and taste some of the 150 apples and pears and 50 varieties of vegetables from the Royal Garden in a small shop, where a gate still leads with the preserved sign Public, which means “public, public ". But at present, the Royal Garden cannot be considered a profitable agricultural enterprise, its cultural and historical value significantly exceeds the value of its products.

Conclusion

Having got acquainted with the history of the two "vying" for the attention of the kings of the sections of the Versailles Park, we saw how gardening was elevated to the level of art, and how the recreation area became a serious scientific platform. The royal garden did not have to experience ups and downs, as happened with Trianon. The practical use of its area for agricultural production has always kept it afloat. But all the political outbursts were clearly reflected in the fate of Trianon. We saw how the most beautiful botanical garden in Europe grew out of the entertainment corner, how it was destroyed at the wave of Marie-Antoinette's hand in order to return to carefree leisure, torn to pieces by a series of revolutions and restored again as a monument to the country's history.The absence of a sovereign owner in the era of revolution and the first republics brought him to the brink of complete destruction. Only the realization of its historical value and inclusion in the state museum complex of Versailles made it possible to restore and open this corner for visitors and tourists in 1965.

When planning your visit to Versailles, do not forget to set aside a whole day for this to have time to explore the remote corners of the park, the Trianons, the village of Marie Antoinette and the Royal Garden. And don't forget to listen to what the Versailles gardens are buzzing about as they have something to tell us about.

Versailles
Versailles

Versailles

Versailles
Versailles

Versailles

Read also about the future of Versailles.

References:

1. Jean-Marie Peroy de Monclo "Versailles", M., Ed. WORD, 2001 (Great palaces of the world).

2. Solnon Jean-Francois, de Sessol Bruno, Valloir Frederic "Versailles", I., ZAO "BMM", 2007

3. G. Klimovitsky "Small Trianon".

4. Wikipedia. "The King's Garden (Versailles)".

5. Johanna Romberg "Royal Harvest", GEO Magazine No. 162, 2011.

6. Author-compiler EA Konkova "Versailles", M., "Veche", 2002 (World Heritage Sites).

7. Bernard Chevallier “Napoleon. Centers of Power "Artlys, 2004, p. 70-72, 77-78.

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