Parc de Marly, Marly-le-Roi

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The Château de Marly was a relatively small French royal residence located in what has become Marly-le-Roi, the commune that existed at the edge of the royal park. The town that originally grew up to service the château is now a dormitory community for Paris.At the Château of Marly, Louis XIV of France escaped from the formal rigors he was constructing at Versailles. Small rooms meant less company, and simplified protocol; courtiers, who fought among themselves for invitations to Marly, were housed in a revolutionary design of twelve pavilions built in matching pairs flanking the central sheets of water, which were fed one from the other by prim formalized cascades (illustration, right).The château is no more, nor the hydraulic "machine" that pumped water for Versailles. Only the foundation of Jules Hardouin-Mansart's small château, the pavillon du Roi remains at the top of the slope in Marly park.HistoryThe works at Marly were begun in the spring of 1679, on 22 May, before Louis had moved his court permanently to Versailles. The king was looking for a retreat on well-wooded royal lands between Versailles and Saint-Germain-en-Laye that were well-watered and provided a grand view. Marly was chosen.Robert Berger has demonstrated that the design of Marly was a full collaboration between Jules Hardouin-Mansart and the premier peintre Charles Le Brun, who were concurrently working on the Galerie des Glaces at Versailles. Mansart's elevations for the pavilions were to be frescoed to designs adapted from a suite that Le Brun had recently drawn and the frescoed exteriors of the otherwise somewhat severe buildings created a richly Baroque ensemble of feigned sculptures against draperies and hangings, with vases on feigned sculptural therms against the piers— all in the somewhat eclectic Olympian symbolism that Le Brun and the King favoured everywhere at Versailles.
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  • Louis XIV's second home is worth the trip! This Park is beautiful! Not to be missed!
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  • Great Park with often very little world, quiet well attended, no melanoderme braillard, tapping in the ball and beautiful points of view!
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  • This is a very odd Park: the Castle remain only ruins and a certain something to obsolete and quiet atmosphere. If it intrigues of the outside by its wall without limit, the Park of the castle of Marly keeps penetrating a timeless charm. Perfect for a bucolic walk. Do with an engraving of the old castle is guess the locations of parts and water jets.
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