• LOCATION 73 | Hidden Messages from the Sun King: A Guide to the Palace of Versailles' Gardens

    Bassin de la Pyramide

    Bassin de la Pyramide on Versailles, Yvelines audio tour Hidden Messages from the Sun King: A Guide to the Palace of Versailles' Gardens

    This is the Pyramid fountain, with successive levels of figures, each a stage in transformation, and the whole ascending to evoke a point at the summit, indicating the direction of the heavens.

    From the bottom to the top, there are: 4 adult tritons meant to show us today in our sea form, 4 child tritons symbolising innocence found again, 4 dolphins representing man converted, 4 lobsters which cleanse impurities, and 1 vase at the top containing water symbolising knowledge. The whole adds up to 17, which we learned at the start of this tour is the number bringing man up from the physical to the spiritual.

    We're almost there, let's reach the peak. As you climb toward the Palace, glance up to your left at the roof of the chapel. At ground level below that is where once was the Cave of Tethys containing the statues which now appear in the first Wood we visited, those of Apollo's baths. The cave was torn down to make room for the chapel, and an immense reservoir which is still there behind that wall on your left. From this high point, water can flow to all the fountains below and shoot spurts 7 stories into the air purely by gravity.

    When you get to the stairs in front of you, walk toward the figure crouching at the top-right. She's a beauty we've seen before. But this time, she's on bended knee. Go up to her.

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Hidden Messages from the Sun King: A Guide to the Palace of Versailles' Gardens