Sunday, 10 August 2014

Queen's Grove

The Queen's grove was once the labyrinth of Louis XIV, therefore archaeological work was recently carried out in this part of the garden in the search for clues. Le Nôtre began working on the then labyrinth in 1665 who based the décor of the fountains and garden on the fables of Aesop; the 39 fountains depicted various animals painted in realistic colours. However, this had already fallen out of style at the time of Louis XIV's death in 1715. Since it was considered out of date the lead-fountains and surrounding gardens deteriorated and it was not until 1775 that it was finally remodelled into the Queen's grove. The new style meant that it was a so-called English Garden and as such is far less modelled than a French garden would be.

There are plenty of rare trees in the Queen's grove: Lebanese cedar, tulip tree, Corsican pine and sweetgum. Most of the sculptures were added in the late 19th century.

Later on the grove would play a key role in the infamous Affair of the Diamond Necklace since it was here that the imposter "Marie Antoinette" met with the seller. Sadly, the storm of 1999 destroyed most of the trees here which meant that the grove has been re-done.


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