The park/garden of the Castle of Saint Germain en Laye !!!

I had it all as well in the Yvelines, history/architecture and plenty of wonders to see, One of my favorites was visiting Saint Germain en Laye with its market and garden/park of the Château of St Germain en Laye now an archeology museum. Oh yes this is Saint Germain en Laye in my old Yvelines dept 78 of the Île de France region. I like to update this dear post of family memories ; hope you enjoy it as I.

sgl chateau garden parc to chateau mar12

First, a bit on the castle , briefly as have several posts on it already in my blog.

The Château of Saint-Germain-en-Laye is a former residence of the kings of France. The current castle was built under François Ier by Pierre de Chambiges, from 1539. Enlarged several times by his successors, it was a royal residence until 1682, when Louis XIV left it definitively for Versailles. The chapel of the castle, in Gothic style, is a vestige of the old fortified castle built by Louis VI le Gros. It was built by Saint Louis (Louis IX) in 1238. King Louis XIV was born at the Château Neuf now gone, the one you see is the Château Vieux that is the museum. Louis XIV was also baptized there. The castle was transformed into a cavalry school under Napoleon I, it later housed a military penitentiary. It was restored under Napoleon III. Since 1867, it has housed the National Archeology Museum.  In January 19, 1777, the dilapidated Château Neuf was given by King Louis XVI to his younger brother the Comte d’Artois (later king Charles X grandson of Louis XV) to carry out the work. Demolition and reconstruction projects are established. However, the French revolution arrives, the castle is seized as national property and sold to the former manager who demolishes it, subdivides the land and sells the materials. Today, only the Henri IV Pavilion (a nice restaurant today see post) , the Garden Pavilion, the Sully Pavilion at nearby Le Pecq, a terrace and its two ramps at the end of rue Thiers which overlooks the avenue du Maréchal de Lattre de Tassigny and some vestiges in the cellars of the district ,one at 3 rue des Arcades remains.

The gardener Claude Mollet, creates the terraced gardens on the east facade of the Château Neuf for king Henri IV. These gardens, designed at the border of the 16C and 17C, were then adorned with caves, water games and hydraulic automata.  On the north facade of Château Vieux, the regular gardens were created under the direction of André Le Nôtre, between 1663 and 1673. This one, much appreciated by king Louis XIV, redesigned the green spaces of the two castles, the Château Vieux by François I and the Château-Neuf of Henri IV; by creating three separate gardens, namely a large flowerbed (grand parterre), a slanting flowerbed (jardin à l’Anglaise later on) and the Dauphine garden. (jardin de la Dauphine).


In addition, Le Nôtre imposes here the genius of perspective. Its Grand Terrace, built between 1669 and 1674, 2,4 km long, is a true masterpiece of perspective. It offers an exceptional panoramic view over the entire Seine valley, extending to the edge of the forest. Beautiful walks in the heart of lush greenery await you. An orientation table erected 84 meters high allow you to identify the main landscape and architectural elements of the panorama. You passed by several ornate wrought iron gates or grille ; starting from the main entrance across from the RER A station you have the Grille des Loges walking to your right you have the Grille Detaille ; going along the walls of the castle facing the parc garden you have the Grille de la Surintendance ; then Grill du Château next to the castle ; walking aroun the Grand Parterre on the allée Henri II you have the Grille du Boulingrin ; continue at end you see the Grille Henri IV ; this is on the Allée Henri IV and the Petite Terrasse;at end before entering the Grand Terrasse you see the Grille Dauphine ; step back a bit and enter the Grande Terrasse at end you see the Grille de la Demi-Lune ; further you have the Rond Royal and into the forest and the Château du Val ! Sublime ! Do it !


In 1845, an English garden was created by Loaisel de Tréogate, At the foot of the Grand Terrace, nearly 2,000 vines have been planted that allow the towns of Le Pecq and Saint-Germain-en-Laye to reconnect with their wine-growing tradition. The train line from Paris-Saint-Lazare to Saint-Germain-en-Laye passes underground via the tunnel of the terrace, dating from the 1840s. It is framed on the one hand by the viaduct over the Seine and on the other through a second tunnel under what remains of the grand parterre, not far from Saint-Germain-en-Laye train station. Since 1996, the A14 highway crosses the terrace through the Saint-Germain tunnel for 1855 meters at 60 meters underground; to the east, the viaduct of Montesson buried the highway below the terrace.


A vast basin 50 meters in diameter with a 22-meter water jet will indeed see the light of day in the Grand Parterre of the gardens/park of the Domaine national de Saint-Germain. The project, in progress, should be completed by the end of summer 2022.Stay tune ! You can go free to the park and the Petite and Grand terraces of the Domaine de Saint-Germain-en-Laye every day. This is a must after visiting the museum, the walks are superbe and the views sublime over to La Defense and Paris!


The official National Archeology museum of the castle St Germain en Laye

The city of St Germain en Laye on its garden /park

The local Seine St Germain en Laye tourist office on the castle/museum :

There you go folks, a wonderful city, much to see ,architecturally stunning and full of history near Paris easy on public transports with the RER A; no excuses a must to see. The garden/park of the Château de Saint Germain en Laye.Sublime !

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

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