Travel

Chateau de Sceaux – magnificent creature of Le Notre

Few people, who come to Paris, know about the wonderful place called Chateau de Sceaux, preferring to visit famous sights of French capital. In fact, there are many interesting things worthy of attention from tourists in the suburbs of Paris. Some places we mentioned in our previous articles, and today some words on the castle of Sceaux, located just five kilometers from the city.

The ensemble consists of a castle, a magnificent great park, wonderful lakes, which some experts compare to similar from Versailles. And, believe, it’s really true!

The Castle of Sceaux was built in the early seventeenth century, but got a greater fame when famous Jean-Baptiste Colbert – Finance Minister of King Louis XIV had become its owner. Influential minister has expanded the castle considerably, and invited the royal gardener André Le Notre for decorating gardens, who was one of the best masters in this business at that time.

As expected, Mr. Le Notre has done his job superbly and created one of the most beautiful parks in France. Because the castle is located on a hill, he defeated the gardens so that they fell down as original parterres. As in the royal Versailles the landscaper paid special attention to water components and created long canals, fountains and cascade of waterfalls, forming an octagonal pool.

Later the area of the park has acquired several pavilions and the Orangery, which has been preserved to this day.  The castle was not so lucky.

The French Revolution brought to life of the country big changes that affected the castle of Sceaux. Its new owner was a wealthy wine merchant. Being an ordinary villager, he had little love for the beautiful. He decided to dismantle the castle walls and sell them as building materials. Only due to his daughter, who became the wife of Comte de Travis, the castle was restored. But, the new castle was more modest than the original version.

The park also has been in great disrepair for a long time, despite the fact that the canals, built by Le Notre, preserved. Restoration works began in 1928 only, directed by a famous architect Leon Azem, who worked on creation of the modern concept of Trocadero Square. Complete reconstruction of the park of the Castle of Sceaux was ended in the seventies of the last century.

Currently, Museum of Ile-de-France is under the roof of the castle. Its exposition contains information about many castles, towns, located in Paris region, about famous people. Certainly, few people know that the town of Sceaux is the birthplace of famous French actor Alain Delon.

Most people come to Sceaux to walk in magnificent gardens of the castle, admire beautiful fountains and canals. For active rest there are playgrounds for favorite French game petanque, basketball, tennis, rugby and soccer fields, a swimming pool. But, more importantly, Chateau de Sceaux gives its guests the unique atmosphere of the past centuries.

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