Wednesday, 11 March 2009

Le jardin et la maison des musiciens italiens

Last weekend, one of my readers asked what the musicians' garden was. Well, it's a small public garden, not a very interesting one (except for the mahonia), though the benches under the trees must certainly be a nice shady spot for a lazy summer day. What's really interesting is the Italian Musicians' house. It was built by Jules Hardouin-Mansart in 1752 and lies almost opposite Madame Elisabeth's orangerie. It was erected on the site of the house where Louis the 14th welcomed Italian castrati attached to the royal chapel in 1710. It was later occupied by Madame de Marsan, governess to the king's children and the botanist L. G. Le Monnier. Nothing is left of his botanic garden. It is now the headquarters of the French guild of itinerant craftsmen.
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Le weekend dernier, l'un de mes lecteurs me demandait ce qu'était le jardin des musiciens. Eh bien c'est un petit jardin public qui ne présente d'autre intérêt, outre un joli mahonia, que de pouvoir se prélasser sur des bancs à l'ombre des arbres. Ce qui est véritablement intéressant, c'est la maison des musiciens italiens qui le borde. Elle fut construite en 1752 par Jules Hardouin-Mansart de Sagonne et se trouve quasiment en face de l'orangerie de Madame Elisabeth. Elle fut érigée sur le site de la maison où, en 1710, Louis XIV accueillit les "sopranistes" ou castrats italiens attachés à la chapelle royale. Plus tard, elle fut occupée par Madame de Marsan, gouvernante des enfants du roi, puis par le botaniste L. G. Le Monnier, dont le jardin botanique n'a pas été conservé. Actuellement, c'est le siège de l'Union des Compagnons du Tour de France. Que de beaux métiers !

25 comments:

Your EG Tour Guide said...

Too bad the old botanic garden is gone. I wonder if there are any old garden plans stashed somewhere.

Petrea said...

Are all the buildings in Versailles ancient and beautiful?

Marie-Noyale said...

Cette petite photo pousse a la curiosite...
Ce doit etre ou devait etre bien jolie a l'interieur et si les murs pouvaient nous raconter ce qu'ils ont entendu...

Boise Diva said...

The building looks so full of character to me.

Jacob said...

Great photos of an especially attractive building. Again, I'm amazed at how beautiful these structures are even after hundreds of years!

Jacob said...

Oh, and the history lesson was very helpful, too, CQ! Thanks!

cieldequimper said...

@Petrea: no, not ALL of them! But there are very strict rules as to what can be built and where so as to keep harmony in the historical city centre.

DaveM said...

I bet its interesting inside. Itinerant French craftsmen now thats interesting, what sort of skills I wonder?

Olivier said...

en effet une maison qui a une belle histoire, je suis d'accord avec Marie-Noyale, si elle pouvait nous raconter ces souvenirs

Bath Daily Photo Blog said...

I love Versailles and the grandeur of the palace! Lovely to see more photos!

Catherine said...

Une fenêtre qui continue de dissimuler ses secrets. En effet, que d'Histoire derrière ces murs.

Clueless in boston said...

Very nice looking building. I like the peek inside the window from your second photo.

Cergie said...

Elle me plairait cette maison toute simple, je ne m'y sentirais pas enfermée ; au cas où, je passerais par la fenêtre pour m'enfuir...
La maison des compagnons ? Alors mon beau frère allait là ; il est compagnon plombier du tour de France.

m_m said...

Beautiful! Great photos! I like the unusual roof and nice huge window:)

Cezar and Léia said...

Wonderful post mainly the picture of the window, all those lights bring a romantic atmosphere!

I was trying to read this post in French! Oh Gosh, I need more lessons!But French is very similar or close to Portuguese language ( that is my mother tongue indeed ).I do hope to learn how to speak French ( and fluent ) as soon as possible , so I will be able to comment here properly and nice!

Your blog is very cool!Au revoir! See you!

God bless you
Léia :-)

Petrea said...

Cielde (is it Cielde?): I'm glad to hear there are strict rules! Versailles is more than the palace, it is a beautiful town.

cieldequimper said...

@Dave and any other interested, here's a link the only one I could find in English:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Compagnons_du_Tour_de_France
You will probably have to copy and paste it. The list of craft is (almost) endless!

Natural Moments said...

It's always interesting to see new uses to old homes and ideas. It looks like a good place for craftsmen. They are creating just as the musicians did.

Tricia said...

It's really quite pretty! After I clicked on the photo, I could see it a bit better. You got a great shot!

Jackie said...

It's very pretty. I like the triangular trees in the foreground!

Frankie / Nick said...

Its a gorgeous place, so peaceful and comfortable.

B Squared said...

Whatever it is used for, it is still a beautiful building.

Per Stromsjo said...

I went to the Opera yesterday. Fortunately, there are no castrati around these days. I suppose there would be difficulties finding them a role in MacBeth... ;)

Fabrizio - ikol22 said...

I simply love the typical design of the building and the light that come out from the chandelier make this photo perfect.

JM said...

The building is beautiful and the story very interesting indeed!