Archive for October 14th, 2019

October 14, 2019

The groves or bosquets of Versailles!

Ok so even thus written on the gardens of the palace/museum of Versailles, there are areas dear to me that have givne the full credit they deserve. Therefore, let me tell you a bit more on the groves or bosquets in the gardens of Versailles. Even thus, I will say again, there is a lot more to see in the city than the palace, just browse thru my blog search Versailles.

Two particular ones always gathered my attention and spent many times walking around them when lived there and when visiting Versailles. The groves of the baths of Apollo and the ballroom grove. These are my favorites of the many there.

The Bosquet des Bains d’Apollon or Grove of Baths of Apollo is a decoration in the gardens of the Palace of Versailles. Located immediately west of the castle, it was made by Hubert Robert, in the romantic spirit under the reign of king Louis XVI, between 1776 and 1778. In 1778, the former “Bosquet du Marais” created by Jules Hardouin-Mansart in 1704 under the probable instigation of Madame de Montespan, becomes the Bosquet des Bains d’Apollon.


In 1704, the three groups were installed in the bosquet de la Renommée , which occupied the northeast corner of the current grove and took the name of Bosquet des Bains d’Apollon.   To protect the works, frail iron canopies trimmed golden lead ornaments were completed in 1705.

In 1778, the statues were moved in the bosquet du Marais redesigned for the occasion and which then takes the name of the bosquet des bains d’Apollon. For the redevelopment of the grove, Hubert Robert designed an artificial cave in the middle of a green landscape dotted with waterfalls and small pools of water, in the Anglo-Chinese style then fashionable. An English garden whose center is occupied by a lake dominated by a huge dummy rock adorned with waterfalls and dug a cave in which is installed the group of Apollo, while the two groups of the Horses of the Sun are placed from either side.

Apollo is accompanied by five nymphs, in the grotto of the Bosquet des Bains d’Apollon, a set of seven statues, the first masterpiece carved in marble and probably the most important for Versailles. The central figure of the composition was freely inspired by the Apollo Belvedere and also evoked that of the King, two side groups representing the Horses of the Sun which replaced those of December 1667.

A bit more info here: Official Chateau de Versailles on the Grove of the baths of Apollo

The Bosquet des Rocailles or Salle du Bal is another grove of the gardens of Versailles. The Rocailles grove is located in the southeastern part of the gardens. It is near the following places for direction: to the north, the rampe du Midi, which separates it from the parterre de Latone, to the east, the parterre du Midi, to the south, the bosquet de la Reine, scattered by the allée de Bacchus-and Allée de Saturne ,to the west the bosquet de la Girandole. The Bassin de Bacchus is located at the southwest corner, the fontaine du Midi at the northeast corner.


The grove has three entrances on the Allée de Bacchus-and-Allée de Saturne, at its southwest corner, in the middle. The last entrance is south of the northwest corner. The Salle de Bal is decorated by several vases and torches in golden lead. Arranged by André Le Nôtre between 1680 and 1683, the grove is the last compound before the installation of king Louis XIV at Versailles. It was inaugurated in 1685. The central zone originally had an oval dance floor, delimited by a small canal. This track is destroyed in the early 18C.

A bit more info here: Official Chateau de Versailles on the ballroom grove

And for all the others the direct link is here: Official Chateau de Versailles on the Groves or bosquets

The gardens are a must to visit and will take you a whole day to see it all. This is a huge property and unfortunately most foreign guides tells you to head for the inside and then the rest. To me it should be the other way around one day gardens one day inside and then maybe another half day for the Trianons/hameau. Then , you can leave saying you saw the Domaine de Versailles. Enjoy the groves or bosquets of my beloved Versailles.

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!


October 14, 2019

Souvenirs of Versailles!

So let me give you now a special shopping experience in my beloved Versailles. You know the story of me and Versailles by reading my blog so will go to the post right away.

There is a wonderful souvenir shop right across from the RER C train station that is very popular with locals and especially visitors grabbing that last souvenirs before embarking on the RER C train back to Paris. I am putting this here to let you know and also for my memories.

This is the place of my oldest son first job in France!  The owner or manager at the time hails from Valencia, Spain! and we made a pleasant friendly relationship for a long time. My son really used his three languages here to talk with the world and we were by to take a peek at him working and buying some postcards and porcelain lamps. The place is the Presse Librairie des Manèges  Souvenir Shop at  2 avenue du General de Gaulle.  It has a wide range of souvenirs from Versailles and Paris, illustrated guides, postcards, t-shirts,  all Made in France products !


The official webpage: Official Souvenirs de Paris in Versailles

Tourist office of Versailles on the press librarie des menages


There are just around it many shops such as a McDonalds, KFC , Ibis hotel, Le karaoke bar ,Chez César pizzeria,Class’Croute sandwiches, Jeff de Bruges chocolates, NatureHouse, Sports House, the Phébus bus network office , Games Workshop, etc.

It is located just a stone’s throw from Versailles Château Rive-Gauche train station, opposite, this new renovated square or Place des Manèges . The building of the Manéges (or merry go around)  was a former military building under Napoleon III.  It now proposes a new landscaped area and a new perspective on the Porte de la Maréchalerie (contemporary art center located in the forge of the petite ecurie, go in the parvis and look back) . The square known as Place des Ménages, located in the  Avenue du General de Gaulle between the city/ town hall and the Château.  There is a renovation as well to the stairs leading to the Maréchalerie  and the high sidewalk.


Some history I like as always architecture and history is all around us in France and Versailles  as the cradle of the French Republic (France).

The Avenue du  Général de Gaulle provides access to the Rive Gauche Château  RER C station and the bus station, between the first city/ town hall and the district of the Manèges. It was the old rue de Berry since 1829, then of the rue de l’hötel de ville and rue Thiers until 1979. The name of the general Charles de Gaulle  credited with liberating occupied France and president of the French Republic (France) from 1959 to 1969.

Some interesting buildings here I like are at No 1 First Hôtel de Ville or city/town hall of Versailles. Former hotel of Marie-Anne de Bourbon, princess of Conti, daughter of king Louis XIV, then of the Grand Masters of the Royal House under king Louis XV and then the  mayor’s office of Versailles since 1791. At No  5: Gare Versailles-Château-Rive Gauche RER C . Inaugurated in 1840, the train station, restored in 2014, changed its name in February 2012 from been simply the rive gauche. It is the terminus of line C of the RER.  Opposite, in an old music pavilion, the regional bus station.  At No 6 a monumental porch vestige of the entrance of the former cavalry barracks and rides destroyed in 1988 to make way for the mall Les Ménages.

There you go another nice memory lane building in my always beloved Versailles. Hope you enjoy it and do come to shop , very friendly folks work there even today!

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

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