Tuesday, November 4, 2008

The Sweet Sweet Smell of L'Orangerie

Hello All! I was browsing through Vicki Archer's French Essence and I came across an older post (October 23rd, I believe) titled Fleur d'Oranger. I loved it so much the first time that I read through it again & I was magically transported to Versailles in l'Orangerie wandering through the citrus trees and gazing across the Swiss lake! Oh how I wish I was there right now sharing these beauteous sites with my son!
And so here I am on another Internet journey trying to whet my appetite for a little bit of France...
An Orangery is similar to a greenhouse or conservatory. It is basically a place where citrus trees are winterized in tubs during the cold seasons. This protected them from frost and harsh conditions.
For many, many years the Orangerie in Versailles had been Europe's largest orangery. The orangery, however, was not just a greenhouse but a symbol of prestige and wealth. The proud King would lead his guests on tours of the garden to admire not only the fruits within the Orangery but the architecture as well.
The Orangery at Versailles is dug into the slope below the chateau. Flanked by the Great 100-Step Staircases, it anchors the slope and remains perfectly sheltered. Because it faces due south and is double glazed, the temperature remains stable between 5° and 8° C (40° and 46° F) even in winter. ~excerpt from the Versailles site Chateau de Versailles

In the better months from about May through October the tubs of citrus are left on display. There are over 1000 citrus trees that live here and most of them are in fact Orange trees.

How beautiful! I have never seen the fountains play in Versailles, I believe they turn them on Sunday's I will have to plan my next trip accordingly!

Photos ~ Courtesy of Flickr
I love this picture of the Gardener manicuring the topiaries! I thought everything was magically perfect in this most magical place! :) Hmmm...now how can I get my husband to go trim our bushes outside to look like this?
Bisou Mon Amis!
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  1. You really need a week to absorb the everlasting beauty Versailles has to offer. I unfortunately only spent a day there therefore missing out on discovering this wonderful portion. I can't wait to go back as soon as I can.

    I can only imagine how heavenly the fragrance Fleur d'Oranger must smell.

    Anna :)

  2. Oh, It is stunning. In a perfect world I would love to be surrounded by topiaries and the like. I just need to find a Paul Bangay magis gardening Fairy to do all the work.
    Ness xx

  3. Those are awesome! You're just giving me millions of reasons to need to schedule a trip to France!

  4. Even though I have visited Versailles multiple times, I have yet to visit L'Orangerie. It is on my list for our next trip! Merci!

  5. Judith, I love your interest in French history and the way you spin it into such a fabulous read. I learn something new each time I click on 'Paris Atelier'. ( thank you for the nod to French Essence) xv

  6. This post was Delicious! Love the orange font!

  7. Hmmm... Now I want to be a gardener in Versailles. How did that happen? Thank you for writing such extensive and interesting posts!
    Trudi =)

  8. Your blog is beautiful...happy to have found you.


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