Archive for June 28th, 2020

June 28, 2020

Versailles: Avenue de Saint Cloud!!!

And here I am again on my beloved Versailles. Oh yes wonderful to walk its architecturally and historical stunning streets. Versailles is the capital of the Yvelines dept 78 of the ïle de France region. However, for a capital city is very managable and even with a great bus network , walking would do the trick. Especially if you lived central in Notre Dame district like we did for almost 10 years, and one nice big avenue that separate us from the rest.

I like to tell you a bit more on the Avenue de Saint Cloud in Versailles, of course.

The Avenue de Saint Cloud (road D185) is in the Montreuil district bordering Notre-Dame district of Versailles. It was created in 1804. Former Avenue de Paris in 1665. Named after the town of Saint-Cloud (see post) whose avenue was the road to go to. At the time of Louis XIV the north of the avenue, in place of the Lycée Hoche, was occupied by a menagerie and stables, and behind these installations by the park of the former Château de Clagny (done for Madame de Montespan, mistress of king Louis XIV).  It has remarkable plane trees malls with bike paths on each side of the avenue.


At 33 Avenue de Saint Cloud about corner with Avenue de l’Europe parking Indigo, convenient for those daring to enjoy the thrill of coming by car, is right next to the flower market or Marché aux fleurs (see post). The Flower market is between rue Clémenceau and Avenue de l’Europe, under the plane tree mall, Tuesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday morning, from 8h to 19h30(see post). Easy spot in and out of Versailles and central for walking all over too.


Some of the remarkable buildings to see in Versailles, and of course now many under different ownership but I put the old history here are:

At No. 3: Former Hôtel de Langlée; at No 5 and 7: Former Hôtel d’ Estrée; No 6 to 16: Houses demolished in 1848 to build the Borgnis-Desbordes barracks, destroyed in 1944 again and see follow up. No 9: First building used for the Israelite worship during the French revolution; at No 10 to 16: Current General Treasury (DDFIP) ; No 18 to 20: Entrance of the Avenue de l’Europe constructed in 1963. At the corner of the Avenue de Saint Cloud ,and rue Carnot: the Café Amaury was in 1789 the meeting place for the Jacobins club. Today the BNP Paribas Bank. No 22: Former Salon de Flore hall a dance hall. No 25: Purchased in 1897 by La Ville stores in Paris, then in 1924 Printemps de Paris, Le Printemps in 1960, and Eurodif since 1991, then Bouchara at the corner of Rue du Maréchal Foch. At No 31 it was the building of Protestant worship from 1828 to 1836. No 34: Former Hôtel de Richelieu built in 1738. At No 35, the picturesque Passage Saladin ,named after the family who owned neighboring properties in the 18C. No 36: Former Synagogue until 1886. At No 38 former Hôtel Saint Simon b. 1686 not much left than some pieces of the cellar.   No 52 and 52 bis: Former Hôtel Dutoit, named after the head of the King’s goblet and small voyages, completed in 1785. Beautiful facade and neoclassical interior courtyard with horizontal lines and interior staircase with canopy. Former Protestant school: the Bertrand Institution (precursor of the Lycée Jules-Ferry high school) operated there until 1923. No. 56: Old gardens, today the City’s technical services and administrative court.

Further at No 71: Land bought and built by the architect of King Louis XV, Richard Mique. No 73: Lycée Hoche. Created in 1803 as an imperial high school. The name was given in 1888 by a government decree. In the center of the current school is located the old convent where the canonesses of Saint Augustin (Carmelite convent) settled in 1772. It was built by Richard Mique for Queen Marie Lesczynska, daughter of the King of Poland and wife of Louis XV, between 1767 and 1772 ,next to the destroyed Château de Clagny . Its neoclassical chapel, completed in 1773, is comparable to the Pantheon in Paris (1757 see post) ) and the Saint-Symphorien Church in Versailles (1764 see post) There is a museum inside worth the detour . In 1792, despite the presence of 500 pupils (poor young girls), the nuns were expelled. Restored, the chapel was inaugurated in 2012.

More in French on the museum Hoche  here:

Moving right along ,at No 83: Facade with porch, balcony and pediment. Built by Jean-Baptiste Brucker, butler of the Count de Noailles, in the 1770s. Madame Babois’ literary salon (Ducis, Talma, De Saint-Pierre) in the 1790s. No 85: House built around 1780. No 87: House built in 1787. No. 89: The pavillon de l’équipage du cerf   or aka green dog kennel. Acquired in 1868 by the farmer Louis-Emile Bertin.

The city of Versailles on its heritage in French: City of Versailles on its heritage

The Versailles tourist office on the Montreuil district in French for more info: Versailles tourist office on the Montreuil district

And there you go, another wonderful spot in my beloved Versailles, a lot more than a Palace/museum I said. Hope you enjoy the walk on Avenue de Saint Cloud, and recognise these buildings as you do, great fun indeed and very educational.

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

June 28, 2020

Versailles: Avenue de Sceaux!!

Let me tell you about a dandy in my beloved Versailles. This is one of those streets you find by chance even if lived in the city. While ,there we walk, but then we had visitors and took them on a car ride into the palace and others and needed parking. Therefore, there is an excellent parking at the end of Avenue de Sceaux and voilà. We walked further around it and got to know the street. After later visits, we parked here to do our walking and its great.

Let me tell you a bit about the Avenue de Sceaux in Versailles!

The Avenue de Sceaux is a very much used traffic street in Versailles, one of the three streets which radiate in a fan from the place d’Armes, in front of the Palace/museum of Versailles, with the Avenue de Paris (see post) and the Avenue de Saint-Cloud (see post). Avenue de Sceaux is the most southerly of the three. It goes south-east for about 700 meters and ends at the place des Francine. Part of the avenue is currently occupied by a paid above ground car park managed by the city of Versailles. There are also parking spaces on a niche or on the cob, paid for by parking meters, along the entire length of the track. Very nice place to park and start you walks around the city. Our favorite.

versailles avenue de sceaux 2007


Initially it was planned that the Avenue de Sceaux would extends in a south-eastern direction, in order to be able to reach the Château de Fontainebleau passing through the town of Sceaux. But the project was aborted and ultimately the avenue will remain in its current state and will end in a dead end. The project will notably be thwarted by the installation of two immense reservoirs on the heights of the Bois Saint Martin forest by the engineer Gobert to receive the water from the Buc aqueduct. Located at the end of the avenue, they close it permanently.

The Avenue de Sceaux borders the following buildings, the  Petite Écurie, Court of Scents, the Square des Francine, also called Louis XIV abreuvoir or watering place, at no. 10: Hôtel de la Marine et des Galères; and Jardin des étangs Gobert or pond garden of Gobert.  You can, also, walk from the parking above on Avenue de Sceaux directly into the left hand side of the palace/museum or commonly call the Château de Versailles!

The Avenue de Sceaux in the district of Saint-Louis created in 1710. Former allée des Bois and avenue du Parc-aux-Cerfs. Named after the town of Sceaux south of Paris to which the avenue and then a road lead. Access to the Jardin des étangs Gobert, the Palace second hydraulic system which brought water from the Rambouillet ponds, from the Saclay plateau, via the Buc aqueduct, to the Gobert garden ponds (Thomas Gobert was  intendant of buildings for King Louis XIV).

One of the ponds is abandoned (filled with reeds and willows, it was regrooved in late 2014) and the other was fitted out by the city of Versailles in 2013 as a public park as part of the construction of the transport hub multimodal of the city. An alley built in 2013 joins the rue Edouard-Charton and the gare des Chantiers.  These areas will be linked to Avenue de Sceaux by a new route drawn between the two old reservoirs. In the northern part, the avenue was limited under the old Regime by the gardens of the Hôtel du Grand Maître (current city/town hall or hôtel de Conti), then by the Hôtel de Limoges, replaced in 1854 by the barracks of same name, then by the current buildings. A residential access to the Étangs Gobert gardens via Place des Francine. Do not miss the outdoor exhibition on the walls to the east of the garden, telling the story of hydraulics in Versailles.

Further on this Avenue de Sceaux you have at no 2ter  Former brasserie du Nord; no 4, 6 and 8: Former barracks, then Hôtel des Chevau-Légers and printing works; rented to Edouard Aubert at no 6, Bains Saint-Louis or baths until 1918, and cinema of the Alhambra in 1970. The Guards pavilion on the avenue has been restored. At no 6, rehabilitated, the former hôtel des Gabelles 17C, became at the beginning of 2016 the Hotel de Beauté. No  10: Barracks of the Coches, Major seminary from 1808 to 1833, then barracks of CRS (special riot police) .No 12: Part of the old Cheval Blanc inn courtyard at rue Royale. No 14 Former restaurant with the Coing d’or, then café de la Bourse (gone) opposite the café de la Réunion on the other side (gone in the 1990s).

At no 1 to 46: Former Hôtel des Gardes du roi in 1740. There remains a monumental door where the Decroy residence was installed (derived from the name of the Croÿ barracks). No 30: Former stables of the King’s Guards, which became a barracks in 1730, the Duke of Noailles being Governor of Versailles. The barracks, which accommodated the 32nd regiment of Dragons until 1919, became then the military circle of Croÿ. The other monumental entrance on rue Royale was built after 1778. Creation at this level of La Rotonde new annex of the Saint-Louis district house in 2015. Place des Francine at the top of the Avenue de Sceaux, an old drinking trough for horses, fitted out at the end of the 18C and refitted in 1812, with the current hemicycle wall, was replaced in 1954 by the Square des Francine (named after a family of fountains men in charge of water stewardship and royal fountains from 1623 to 1784 or from King Henri IV to Louis XV), which included a pool surrounded by four play areas. at the former Étangs Gobert reservoir converted into a public park and at the Chantiers train station. A small sports field has replaced the square and the hemicycle wall has been rehabilitated. A new playground for kiddies accompanied by ‘a 345 m2 plant labyrinth and an esplanade with water jets was inaugurated in June 2016. The fountain with two lion heads has been put back into service.

Sublime my Versailles, full of history on every turn. And of course , Architecture to dream on. Hope you enjoy the walk of this wonderful Avenue de Sceaux in my beloved Versailles.

Just for reference, the city of Versailles on its heritage: City of Versailles on heritage

And with more info, the Versailles tourist office on the district of Saint Louis in French: Versailles tourist office on Saint Louis district

Again be at Versailles, breath Versailles and enjoy Versailles. Hope it helps you enjoy the Avenue de Sceaux.

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

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