University of Notre Dame
3 files

Versailles: Palace Gardens: The central axis, looking over the Latona Fountain

posted on 2017-06-30, 00:00 authored by G. Massiot & cie
In 1661, when Louis XIV began to enlarge the ch\u00E2teau of Versailles, the surrounding grounds were in a rudimentary state. The King acquired further land (at the end of his reign the estate extended over 2473 ha, now reduced to 815 ha) and had gardens designed and laid out by Andr\u00E9 Le N\u00F4tre which would harmonize with Le Vau's new building. Louis paid the greatest attention to the design of the gardens, visiting them daily whenever at Versailles. The grounds still retain the general structure of Le N\u00F4tre's layout: a principal east-west axis flanked by parallel secondary axes north and south, and intersected by four north-south avenues. In the grid squares thus defined, Le N\u00F4tre, succeeded by Jules Hardouin Mansart, installed groves (bosquets) and fountains. The east-west axis ran from the terrace of the ch\u00E2teau via the Parterre d'Eau, with the bronze allegorical statues of the rivers of France, the Latone steps, the Parterre de Latone and the Tapis Vert walk, to the Bassin du Char d'Apollon at the beginning of the 1560 m Grand Canal (1667-1690). On the south side, the gardens terminated with the Pi\u00E8ce d'Eau des Suisses (1679-1684), which extended the Parterre de l'Orangerie towards the ch\u00E2teau, and the Orangery built 1684-1686 by Hardouin Mansart under the Parterre du Midi.


Date Created


Date Modified


Spatial Coverage

Versailles, Île-de-France, France +48.804404+2.123162 Versailles

Temporal Coverage

before or circa 1910

Cultural Context

['Seventeenth century', 'Baroque']

Rights Statement

To view the physical lantern slide, please contact the Architecture Library.

Usage metrics

    Rare Books and Special Collections


    No categories selected


    Ref. manager