Desert du Retz, Chambourcy

4.1
#20 of 26 in Parks in Yvelines
The Désert de Retz is an Anglo-Chinois or French landscape garden - created on the edge of the forêt de Marly in the commune of Chambourcy, in north-central France. It was created at the end of the 18th century by the aristocrat François Racine de Monville on his 40ha estate. This was one of a number of landscape gardens created in France at the time influenced by English examples. The architect Boullée was involved in the creation of both Monville's town houses; it is less likely he had anything to do with le Desert de Retz, although Monville did, for a while, engage as assistant to the architect Francois Barbier until 1780. Monville probably designed many of the features and structures himself or had a strong supervisory role.The garden included between 17 and 20 structures, of which only 10 still survive, mostly referring to classical antiquity. Those buildings included a summer house (the "colonne brisée", or ruined column), in the form of the base of a shattered column from an imaginary gigantic temple, an ice house in the form of an Egyptian pyramid, an obelisk, a colonnaded temple dedicated to Pan, an open-air theatre, a ruined Gothic Chapel and a Chinese pavilion.HistoryIn 1774, Monville bought the estate of about from Antoine Joseph Basire. It included an existing house, a formal parterre garden and service quarters. By 1785 he had extended the estate to 90arpent in size.
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Desert du Retz Reviews
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  • C ' is especially the Park and one or two monuments remaining factories of the 18th. We have a little hard to navigate between what is gone and what remains of these factories
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  • Really worth the visit by its unusual side! The Park is pretty well hidden, we went there not knowing what we would find, which gave way to the surprise. The guide was passionate, what makes the visit even more enjoyable.
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  • It is on the history of the place and its owner is not trivial. But it really takes a lot of imagination to get an idea of what it was at its inception.
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Google
  • Architecture false surreal ruin laid in a beautiful park. Worth the drive. Thanks to the volunteers who maintain his memory.
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  • First time to archaeology
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  • There is a deer that lives there
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