The Pièce d’Eau des Suisses of Versailles !!

Coming along on my tour of Versailles to show you places off the beaten path away from the palace/museum property to see more of my Versailles. Yes you know it , Versailles has a lot more things to see than the palace/museum. Let me tell you about the water pond of the Swiss!!

The Piéce d’Eau des Suisses  is right across the Orangerie (see post) area on the road D10 to St Cyr l’école. Many afternoons on weekends picnicking there with the family on the shadows of the only statue to king Louis XVI in Versailles and one of only five in France still standing. The others are in Nantes (Loire-Atlantique dept 44), at the Esplanade du Maréchal Foch , it is still today , for most of the people of Nantes,the Place Louis XVI.  Also,  in Bécherel (Ille-et-Vilaine dept 35 Brittany), in the park of the Château de Caradeuc; at the Loroe-Bottereau (Loire-Atlantique dept 44), near the Church; in Sorèze, in the park of the Royal School; And in Nant (Aveyron dept 12), in the entrance to the city/town hall , even if here very much damaged and hardly recognisable, last I saw several years back.


La pièce d’eau des Suisses is a part of the Domaine de Versailles , but apart from it as told above. It was built between 1679 and 1682, and owes its name to having been dug by a regiment of Swiss guards. It was created to drain the Potager du Roi or King’s vegetable garden (see post).  This 682 meters long, by 234 meters wide water pond with a surface of 15 hectares has an average depth of 1.70 meters ( the park is about 25 ha). It is located as above on the D10 road across from the Orangerie. This axis includes from north to south the basin of Neptune, the allée d’eau and the parterre du nord, the parterre d’eau , parterre du midi (situated above the Orangerie) ,and the parterre de l’Orangerie ,and finally the pièce d’eau des Suisses.

It was an octagonal shape, it was enlarged towards 1678 by the Swiss Guards in the service of King Louis XIV. A final enlargement in 1682 that gives it its rounded ends. At its southern extremity an equestrian statue representing Louis XVI later replaced by a copy, the original is in the Orangerie. The Piéce d’eau des Suisses runs along the Potager du Roi or king’s vegetable garden, which it could be access on this side by the Royal Grill gate. It is bordered by a double aisle of two-century plane trees, many of which suffered damage during the storm of 1999. Under the old regime, this piece d’eau was often the scene of nautical festivals. Nowadays it is free to all and has become a Sunday family picnic place. And it was our family place on many Sundays.

Some webpages I could find to help you plan your trip here are:

The city of Versailles tourist office on the Swiss pond

The Château de Versailles on the Swiss pond

There you go folks, another wonderful sort of off the beaten path spot in my Versailles. It is a nice park full of history and wonderful for the whole family to walk , take a break from the long tours of the palace/museum and even do try a picnic; its awesome. Hope you enjoy as we do.

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

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