Among the 350,000 trees planted on the Estate of Versailles, 30 have been deemed admirable on account of their beauty, history or botanical rarity. 20 years after the terrible storm of 1999, the Palace of Versailles is aiming to draw attention to these trees with a walking tour that will allow visitors to locate and learn more about them. This programme was made possible thanks to the patronage of Maison Rémy Martin.
A heritage of sap and wood
Covering over 800 hectares, the gardens of the Palace of Versailles are much more than a simple green space, a fact that greatly enhances the Royal Estate’s renown. From the French gardens located in front of the Palace, to Trianon’s English garden, the Estate is home to extraordinary trees that are living witnesses to Versailles’ impressive history. Originally comprising mainly linden and chestnut trees from nearby forests, Versailles’ arboreal heritage has expanded over the centuries to include rare trees from far-off lands: the American tulip tree and Virginian juniper, the Japanese Pagoda tree, the Chinese catalpa, and the giant sequoia. Though some ancient trees did not survive the 1999 storm, several of the most remarkable species are still standing and deserve greater attention. The gardeners of Versailles have chosen around 30 of these for visitors to discover through a signposted route, a publication, and an audio guide on the Palace of Versailles app (free download).
This walking tour was made possible thanks to the patronage of Maison Rémy Martin.
Follow the guide on the app
The Palace of Versailles’ free mobile app offers visitors a new self-guided tour with 14 stops describing the Estate of Trianon’s admirable trees. Commentary from head gardener Alain Baraton is also available in French and Spanish.
An ideal patron
Founded in 1724, and recognised for its quality in 1738 by Louis XV’s Royal Accord, Maison Rémy Martin’s values are similar to those of the Palace of Versailles. The cognac maker was founded by a winegrower and is deeply rooted in the land. It is also committed to environmental protection, using integrated viticulture since 2007 and receiving the High Environmental Value Agriculture certificate in 2012. Like the Palace of Versailles, its perception of time goes beyond human time, with profound respect for the patience required to obtain the best quality: each and every day, Maison Rémy Martin’s Cellar Master has future generations in mind. The Estate of Versailles and Maison Rémy Martin also share the same passion for trees, especially oaks like the Quercus Robur, which are exclusively used to age its eaux-de-vie. Whether through the art of blending and barrel making, the winemaking professions, or crystal glassmaking, there is a key commitment to deepening and passing on their superior savoir-faire. By supporting the Palace of Versailles for the first time, Maison Rémy Martin is offering visitors the opportunity to discover the gardens’ “Admirable Trees”.
It is also worth reading Alain Baraton’s article on the project, published in Les carnets de Versailles, accessible here.
The Estate of Trianon is open from Tuesday to Sunday (except December 25th, January 1st and May 1st) from noon to 5.30 pm and until 6.30 pm in high season.
More informations here.
A guide featuring illustrations of each of these trees was created just for this occasion. It is on sale in our online boutique.