The portes/gates of the Domaine de Versailles !!!

I have written quite a bit on Versailles and of course used to lived in this glorious sublime city of my belle France , The usual tourist brochures do not tell you all but here , we make a distinction between the Château or Palace/museum, the annexes such as the Trianons and the old Domaine de Versailles. One is just current properties you come to see and the other is much more going back in history way back before 1685 ! Let me tell you a bit more in my black and white series, no pictures ; on the gates or portes of the Domaine de Versailles !!! Hope you enjoy the post as I.

The property goes back way back of the Grand Canal into the towns of St Cyr l’école , etc , and its many gates or portes that encircle the old Domain of Versailles for 43 km !!. My favorite here was the Porte de Bailly still visible from the Ferme de Gally on St Cyr l’école. 700 meters from it you can still see the Porte de Noisy with a garden guardian house still there. Much further in the enclosure you have the Porte de Buc (town of Buc) ,Porte de Saint Cyr (town of St Cyr l’école) ,Porte d’Aréne (town of St Nom la Bretêche ) Porte de Jouy (town of Jouy en Josas) , Porte de Mérantais (town of St Quentin en Yvelines) , pavillon de Chateaufort (town of Chateaufort) ,Porte de Puissaloup (town of Bois d’Arcy) ,my favorite entrance to the Domaine , porte Saint Antoine or Porte de la Reine ( town of Versailles) ,Porte de Trou Salé (town of Toussus le Noble) ,Porte d’entrées or entering gate (town of St Nom la Bretêche private occupied today). You see my Domaine de Versailles !!!

Starting in 1685, Louis XIV had a wall built around his estate of Versailles, pierced by around twenty gates. These monumental doors are all built on the same model, according to the drawings of Jules-Hardouin Mansart. Straddling the enclosing wall in the form of a porte-cochere, they consisted of a quadrangular pavilion covered in slates, the ground floor of which constituted the passage and the first floor served as accommodation for the Swiss guard. The passage, capped with exposed joists, opened with two semicircular arches. It was flanked by two small recesses, one of which contained the staircase. The accommodation on the first floor consisted of a single room equipped with a furnace fireplace and lighted by two large pierced windows above each opening of the passage. The construction was in coated rubble with corner chaining, strips and cornice in cut stone. The enclosed estate had an area of 86 km2, more than ten times the territory of Versailles today. It then included 9 villages, erected into parishes, existing before its creation. These are the villages of Buc, Guyancourt, Bois-d’Arcy, Saint-Cyr, Villepreux, Fontenay-le-Fleury, Rennemoulin, Noisy, and Bailly. The palace and the small park were to the northeast of the greater park. This included the plateau of Satory, the upper part of the Val de Bièvres, the plateau of Villaroy, the pond of Saint-Quentin , the plateau of Bois d’Arcy and the plain of Versailles to the limit of Villepreux to the west. The large park was delimited to the north by the park of Marly. From the western end of the Grand Canal radiated five great alleys, dozens of meters wide, crossing the park. Villepreux’s Royal Alley was part of the “Great Perspective” imagined by Le Nôtre on either side of the Palace of Versailles.

The Porte de la Tuilerie, dite Pavillon de l’Arènes  (b,1685) In Saint-Nom-la-Bretèche, the Château de la Bretèche (private property), was sold to King Louis XIV in 1700, for the Count of Toulouse (legitimatized son of the king and Madame de Montespan) who will put his crews there, hunting, the castle finally returned, in August 1766, to Louis XV who wished to increase his domains of Versailles and Marly. The castle and the estate were then the subject of meticulous surveys by the first architect of King Ange-Jacques Gabriel. The castle cannot be visited. La Tuilerie-Bignon, also enclosed in the large park of Versailles, is the setting for one of the most prestigious French golf courses, of international renown. The Pavillon d’Arène, or Daresne, from the name of its first guard, is the remnant of a gate in the wall that surrounded the large park of Versailles, reserved for hunting small game and falcon hunting, known as falcon hunting. flight. Surmounted by a pavilion roof, the floor is occupied by a single room, which is generally the housing of the game warden. the perimeter wall formerly attached to the former hunting domain of Versailles today the GPV = Grand Parc de Versailles, You will see this abbrv repeated here,

Located on the D186 road arriving via Le Chesnay, the Porte Saint Antoine provides access to the domaine’s park. The Porte St Antoine or Porte de la Reine was one of the entrances to the Petit-Parc and the palace (our favorite entry for walks and plays with the family in the gardens) , Arranged at the passages of the riders and close to the Avenue de Versailles, this exit from the castle made it possible to reach the castle of Marly then St Germain in Laye

The Porte de Rocquencourt was the old entrance door and its porter’s house attached to the GPV enclosure wall today has become a simple access to the forest of Marly, The door and certainly the old porter’s house adjoining the enclosure wall of the GPV runs along the forest of Marly in the direction of the Porte à Bailly. Pierre Julien de La Faye, king’s adviser, and last lord of Rocquencourt , sells the estate to Monsieur, brother of the king, count of Provence, while Louis XVI acquired the lordship. The original fortified castle, built on the promontory overlooking the valley, was replaced by a building occupied by Madame de Provence, then by the Furtado-Heine family, and finally by the Murat family. On August 20, 1944, a stock of ammunition was there. destroyed and the damaged building was demolished in 1960.

The Porte du Val Joyeux , the Swiss house built in the middle of the 18C along the departmental road to Plaisir (D10/11), It was added to the pavilion built by Jules Hardouin-Mansart above the road in 1685, during the final closure of the large hunting park at the Palace of Versailles. Porch added in the 19C , Pavilion destroyed around 1855.

The Porte de Bailly or Porte de Maintenon (enclosure wall of the Petit-Parc) is located on the Allée Royale de Maintenon, its access allowed during hunting parties to reach the Grand-Parc, the forest or the castle of Marly, In the extension from the Allée Royale de Maintenon there was a last gate called the Grille de Maintenon. Located on the Allée Royale de Maintenon which linked the Etoile Royale to the Grille du Trou d’Enfer opposite the old castle of the Marly estate, the gate was, with the Porte de Noisy, one of the exits from the Palace of Versailles during hunting parties in the forest of Marly,

The Porte des Gondi formerly gatehouse of the Château de Noisy ,The gate, formerly known as Criton, is the only preserved architectural element of the château built for Albert de Gondi. The triangular pediment is supported by Tuscan pillars resting on harped legs. Integrated into the enclosure wall of the Parc de Marly during the reign of Louis XIV, it was renamed Porte des Gondi in 1993. This house, which disappeared from the domain of Versailles, was located on the road leading from Versailles to Marly.

The Porte de Puissaloup or the Puit à Loup  had a single room that serves as housing for the Swiss quickly becomes insufficient for a family. Annex buildings are therefore gradually added to the original building, which loses its rigor and symmetry. Thus the door of Puisaloup will end up being incorporated into constructions so important that one will not even distinguish the door any more , The building is then made up of a kitchen, next to a room with fireplace, above 3 bedrooms and below a cave. The pavilion of the door is composed of 2 rooms. A stable for 4 horses furnished with mangers and racks. A barn for 3 cows, a barn with 3 bays and lean-to; all covered in slate, except the barn and the lean-to covered in reed and in good condition except for a few minor repairs. When the RN 12 road (take no tolls from my Morbihan) was widened, the Porte de Puisaloup was demolished. It was located near the Elf gas station.

The Porte de Noisy was one of the accesses to the hunting grounds of the Grand Parc de Versailles and the forest of Marly , Due to its monumental dimensions, its height and width facilitated the passage of riders of up to 200/300 men during hunting parties , Erected on the 2,500 meter long Avenue Royale de Noisy from the Apollo basin, it joins the Avenue Royale de Maintenon used as a launching pad towards the game-rich lands of the Marly forest.

The Porte Porte de St Cyr as the entrance to St Cyr and the perimeter wall separating the Petit Parc from the hunting lodge, Located inside the Domaine du GPV ,its wall was integrated into the domaine

The Porte de Buc or du Cerf Volant , The village of Buc located in the GPV and its Porte du Cerf Volant integrated into the surrounding wall of the Petit-Parc In modern times in 1685, Hébert sold to the Marquis de la Feuillade seventy-eight arpents of coppice which were united the following year in the Grand Parc of Versailles. The proximity of Versailles also explains another major event for the topography of Buc: the construction of an aqueduct, completed in 1686, to convey the waters of the plateau through the Bièvre valley.

The Porte de Trappes was located outside the wall of the GPV, the village held a gateway to the domaine de Versailles , Also, known as the False Porte de Trappes.

The Porte du Mérentais was built as the others in 1685. This pavilion was enlarged during the 18C,and is the only one still present on the territory of the current town of Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines, a rare witness that should be preserved due to its unique character. Despite many transformations, the door is still visible. It is therefore a former guard house of the Grand Parc de Versailles. This residential building is now located in the heart of the Golf National course in Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines. The building, made of millstone, is made up of a cellar in the basement, a ground floor and an upper floor, i.e. an approximate area of 40 m². The roof is a 4-sided pavilion and is covered with slates.

ThePorte de Montigny in the town of Montigny-le-Bretonneux was located outside the wall of the GPV Also, the Porte de Voisins located outside the perimeter wall of the GPV, the village of Voisins had a gateway to the estate, which no longer exists. Their last descendant would be Count Auguste Gilbert de Voisns who had married one of the daughters of José-Maria de Hérédia.(French academy seat 79 and Cuban born).

The Porte de Chateaufort was located outside the GPV and its entrance door integrated into the surrounding wall of the GPV.

The Porte de La Boulie, now in the the Valley and the Forest located at the doors of Versailles, today a Golf de la Boulie

The Porte de Toussus Le Noble and Porte du Trou Salé (b 1686), The village of Toussus located on the edge of the GPV enclosure wall and its 2 gates, The Porte de Toussus is located west of the village. The ruin of the vault, threatening the safety of users, led to the destruction of two-thirds of the building in 1914. The rest was enlarged to accommodate agricultural workers. It is still used as a private dwelling. The Porte du Trou Salé is located to the east of the village. A farm developed around the gate in the 18C. It is now private property. Nearby we discover an old royal crown terminal, oriented towards the castle they indicated the limits of the domain, these were stone marks to delimited the entire property as king’s lands.

The Porte des Loges en Josas , The village of Les Loges was located outside the GPV with a single entrance gate into the estate , The former porter’s house composed of a main building where the guards or porters of the administration of the Domaine or Estate of Versailles

The Porte de Jouy en Josas , The village of Jouy on the outskirts of the surrounding wall and its gate allowing access to the GPV , This house is a former gate of Louis XIV’s hunting estate. In the canton, another gate remains at Trou Salé (Toussus-le-Noble see above) ) as well as the remains of a third, also at Toussus. These gates, where the guards residences, were built from 1684 to 1686 and were originally linked together by a masonry wall protecting the hunting lodge from any unauthorized intrusion. This, later crossed by a railway line that no longer exists, was used in particular for supplying French troops during WWII. The door or gate or Pavillon then annexes or outbuildings were added later.

The official Domaine de Versailles today

The city of Versailles on its origins:

The official Versailles tourist office of the must see:

Les Amis de Versailles or the friends of Versailles supporters’s group:

The association des Amis du grand Parc de Versailles or assoc of the friends of the grand park of Versailles (domaine):

There you go folks, the property is huge, and this additional post will give you some ideas and history of its original size before the French revolution. If need any detail information feel free to post a question or contact me on this blog. I lived there for 9+ glorious years with memories forever !!! Again, hope you enjoy the post on my Domaine of Versailles as I 

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

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