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Explore the EstateThe Garden

The Walks



Walls of greenery

Beyond the Parterres, the gardens are criss-crossed by a network of rectangular pathways laid out according to a geometric plan. In the 17th century they were lined with fences and trees meeting overhead or elm saplings, or elms trimmed to form green walls. A few niches were set into these walls of greenery to hold statues.

The Royal Walk

Also called the “Green Carpet”, because of the strip of lawn that runs down the middle, the Royal Walk is 335 metres long and 40 metres wide. It was laid down under Louis XIII, but Le Nôtre widened it and lined it with twelve statues and twelve vases, placed in symmetrical pairs. Most of them were works sent by the pupils of the Académie de France in Rome in the 17th century. Paths lead off to the Groves which the stroller will discover as he walks along.

The Water Walk

According to his brother Charles, celebrated for his tales, it was Claude Perrault, the architect, who designed this walk, also known as the “Marmousets” walk, a familiar derivation from “marmot”, a child. The promenade is flanked by twenty-two groups in bronze holding marble bowls of Languedoc.

Flora and Ceres Walk

Placed symmetrically to the Bacchus and Saturn fountains, the Ceres and Flora fountains symbolise respectively Summer and Spring. Flora, half-naked, reclines on a bed of flowers surrounded by Cupids weaving garlands. The sculptor Tuby produced this group between 1672 and 1677. Ceres, holding a sickle and surrounded by Cupids, lies on a bed of ears of corn. It is the work of the sculptor Regnaudin.

Bacchus and Saturn Walk

The Bacchus (Autumn) and Saturn (Winter) walks have two pools or fountains decorated in their centre with gilded lead statues, the works of the Marsy brothers for the first and of Girardon for the second. They symbolise the four seasons with their corresponding figures of the northern part.
In his guide to the gardens, Louis XIV speaks of them in these terms: “on the other side, the royal walk, Apollo, the canal, the green groves, Flora, Saturn, Ceres on the right, Bacchus on the left”.


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