Built in 1702 according to Jules Hardouin-Mansart’s plans and Louis XIV’s instructions, the Buffet d’eau is a masterful composition that is unique among all the gardens and groves of Versailles.
THE BUFFET D’EAu AT THE HEART OF A HAVEN OF PEACE AND GREENERY
Located one mile away from the palace of Versailles, the Grand Trianon was built by Jules Hardouin-Mansart in 1687 on the orders of Louis XIV as a hideaway for the king and his mistress Madame de Montespan. Emptied with the French Revolution, the palace was refurbished by Napoleon I on the occasion of his wedding with Empress Marie-Louise. During the Bourbon Restoration, Louis Philippe I lived there for a while before it was turned into a museum. It was only under the Fifth Republic that the palace recovered its residential purpose by welcoming visiting foreign heads of state.
AN ARCHITECTURAL MASTERPIECE
The Buffet d’eau fountain is the major component of the Trianon gardens. Built in 1702 by Jules Hardouin-Mansart, the Buffet d’eau underwent several transformations or adaptations to please Louis XIV. It consists of three red- and white-toned marble bleachers, similar to the Grand Trianon pilasters and perfectly completing the harmony designed between the palace and its surroundings. The pond is topped with mythological lead figures that used to be gilded.
A RENOVATION PROJECT
The last renovation of the Buffet d’eau dates back to 1892. Today, the fountain is in great need for a new general restoration program. It will cover the whole of the composition, the restitution of its fountain building and sealing, as well as the rehabilitation of the Buffet d’eau surroundings that make the fountain so delightful.
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