Marie Antoinette Online Forum

The Désert de Retz
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Author:  cherecoeur [ Wed Nov 04, 2009 6:28 pm ]
Post subject:  The Désert de Retz

According to some article I've read, this famous "folly garden" in Paris, visited by the queen, has been restored in recent years. It would certainly be on my list of places to visit. The outstanding feature from my recollection is a single large column designed to look as though it were a ruin, the top half broken away, and yet actually contained living quarters. This structure must be the most unique folly of all the gardens of that type.

Author:  Rosalie [ Sun Nov 08, 2009 11:51 am ]
Post subject:  Re: The Désert de Retz

I've never heard abvout that, but it must be very interesting. It reminds me of the taste for ruins and ancient buildings that was typical of the time.

Author:  baron de batz [ Sun Nov 08, 2009 10:08 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: The Désert de Retz

Do you mean the Tivoli gardens or the Jardins Boutin, situated where the current St Lazare station is? The Queen took the Dauphin and MTC to the gardens in the afternoon of June 20th 1791 before Varennes, in order to keep up appearances and act normally.

Author:  baron de batz [ Tue Nov 10, 2009 1:51 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: The Désert de Retz

In fact Chèrecoeur was absolutely right about these gardens. They are situated at the extremity of the Marly forest, and the Queen did visit them from 1781, no doubt when she was staying at the Marly le Roi palace. She was looking for inspiration for her Trianon gardens at the time and these gardens, with their 38 follies after the English fashion, probably gave her some ideas for Richard Mique to implement.

As for the Tivoli gardens or Jardins Boutin, she fairly regularly visited these gardens with the Royal children, after 1789 when the family was forcibly housed in Paris. Therefore her June 20th visit with the children was to keep up appearances and to seem to treat this day just like any other...

Author:  Ronald [ Wed Jun 09, 2010 8:06 am ]
Post subject:  Re: The Désert de Retz

"baron de batz" is correct. the Desert de Retz is located at the edge of the Foret de Marly. It is in the town of Chambourcy, which recently assumed ownership of the garden. The Desert de Retz is now opened to the public. For more information, consult my website, the Racine de Monville Home Page--link below. It's got exclusive photos of the Desert de Retz, a chronology of the fascinating life of Monsieur de Monville, news about events and visits and lots more!


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