Former location of the famous maze
the Queen’s Grove
, altered in 1774, now looks as an English garden. (12)
« After the 1999 hurricane which destroyed nearly 35000 trees in the park of Versailles, this maze is presently going to be restored »).
In the North Groves, the grove called
" the Star
In this northern section of the Park, Le Nôtre had built with great
care the Grove of the Water Theatre. Unfortunately it was
destroyed in the middle of the 18th century and had been replaced by a
simple turfed depression surrounded by tall trees, called the Green Circle(11)
The round basin appearing at the bottom is the basin called " the Children’s Island
In the centre six little cupids play with flowers on a rock while two other ones frolic in the water.
The Grove of the Obelisk (17)
is called so because, during the “Grandes Eaux”, or “Great Water Show”,
several high fountains form a tall liquid column.
The Basin of Latone (9)
represents Apollo’s and Diana’s mother coming to ask their father, Jupiter, to punish peasants from Lycia who insulted her. Its location, down from the Water Beds and facing the Great Canal,
makes it one of the most popular basins during the “Grandes Eaux”.
Grove of Apollo’s Baths (10)
represents the Anglo-Chinese garden set into fashion by the Queen Marie-Antoinette
(Louis XVI’s spouse). A large rock, hollowed as a cave where appears the
god Apollo coming to rest surrounded by nymphs. At the foot of the rock, a small lake.
The Quincunxes have replaced disappeared groves. The South Quincunx (on the right) (15s)
has replaced the old Grove of the Girandole which dated back to Louis XIV and which was probably destroyed at the beginning of Louis XV’s reign. As to the
North Quincunx (on the left) (15n)
it is the old Grove of the Dauphin that made a pair with the Grove of the Girandole.
Grove of the Dance Hall (11)
is forming an amphitheatre composed of ramps and rockery terraces with waterfalls (during the Grandes Eaux only). The King used to give there parties where people danced.
The Grove of the Domes (19)
in the centre of the picture, is one of the most complex. The centre of the basin has an octogonal shape decorated with a marble balustrade supporting gilded bronze balusters.
The other basin at the bottom of the picture, the Encelade
represents the fall of the Titans burdened by the rocks of the Mount Olympus. One sees a giant,
half sunken under the rocks, trying to struggle against death.
During the Grandes Eaux, one has the surprise to see a 25 meters high fountain rising from the giant’s mouth.
The Grove of the Colonnade (20)
is a round peristyle made of multi coloured marbles offering a beautiful sight.
Chestnut Tree Hall (21)
was successively called Cabinet of the Antiques or Water Gallery.
As you can see in the centre of the picture, it is actually a long
alley two steps away from the Colonnade. Today, it has lost several
of its basins, but you can still see many antique busts. From the
original decoration remain only the two small round basins at each end.
The King’s Garden
has replaced in 1817 the Royal Island that was composed of two large basins :
the Mirror or the Farthingale and the Great Lake that enclosed the island.
Unfortunately the Great Lake became naturally a marshy pond.
It was Louis XVIII who had the basin replaced by a vast English
garden which you can see at the bottom of the picture.
Meanwhile at the top of the picture you can see the Basin of the Mirror
which remained untouched.
The Green Carpet (22)
is a huge alley lined with vases and statues, beginning just behind the Basin of Latone and going down until the Basin of Apollo.
The Basin of Apollo (23)
represents Apollo’s chariot coming out of the water among sea monsters to light the Earth, he beeing the master of the Sun.