• LOCATION 24 | Hidden Messages from the Sun King: A Guide to the Palace of Versailles' Gardens

    Towards the Bacchus fountain

    Towards the Bacchus fountain on Versailles, Yvelines audio tour Hidden Messages from the Sun King: A Guide to the Palace of Versailles' Gardens

    Linger here at the exit for a moment. I will be taking you to the circular fountain to your right. While you walk there, I want to say some words about the Wood on your left.

    Today it is called the Queen's Grove, and at the time I'm speaking it's closed for renovation. Virginia tulip poplars are being planted because they were adored by Marie-Antoinette.

    I haven't included this Wood on our itinerary because I can't see it becoming better than what it once was. At its inception, it was an intricate labyrinth with 39 tiny fountains, each showing a scene from a different children's story by Charles Perrault. Tales like Cinderella, Puss’n’boots and Sleeping Beauty were represented at eye-level for the kids as they ran about euphorically trying to find their way to their preferred story, or to the solution at the exit of the maze. Can you imagine how fun that must've been?

    The affair of the outrageously expensive necklace, dramatised in the Three Musketeers, which led to Marie Antoinette's downfall, also took place there. Louis XVI's shame, as well as the expensive upkeep of the maze led to its destruction.

    Keep walking to the fountain, or if you've arrived, please wait as I catch my breath to tell you about it.

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