PARC DE SCEAUX. Free download on my website, www.ThisFrench.Life
For those playing along in my Instagram story yesterday, congrats to @sherrypolcyn, who correctly guessed this location: The park and estate of Sceaux, just outside of Paris.
There are a lot of practical reasons why I love this vast property:
° It's one of the closest chateaus to Paris.
° The ENTIRE park is dog-friendly with three off-leash areas.
° They allow picnics on the grass in front of the chateau (unheard of!).
° Sceaux has the LARGEST cherry blossom orchard in all of Ile de France.
In fact, there is one completely white orchard and another in all pink next to it.
This 181-hectare estate is free to visit and is a much more calm, relaxed, and casual version of the Versailles Gardens. The chateau is a museum housing the collections of Ile-de-France.
The museum retraces the history of the Domaine de Sceaux and its various owners, as well as the French way of life from Louis XIV to Napoleon III. The Pavilion de l'Aurore, dating from the 17th century, features a cupola painted with the theme of Aurora by Charles Le Brun.
But lesser known is that André Le Nôtre designed this garden.
Louis XIII appointed Le Nôtre as "designer of plants and flowerbeds" in 1643. He is best known for designing the gardens of Versailles, Tuileries, Chateau de Chantilly, Fontainebleau, and Vaux-le-Vicomte. But André Le Nôtre also designed 34 other famous gardens, including these of Parc de Sceaux and even the Orangerie Park in Strasbourg.
Le Nôtre was born on March 12, 1613, into a family of famous gardeners and passed away in Paris on September 15, 1700, at 87.
If you're looking for a fantastic yet easy day trip outside of Paris, a combo of museum, gorgeous expansive gardens, picnicking, and all sans crowds, Parc de Sceaux should definitely be on your radar.
Download my free guide on my website, link in bio. Please check the estate's website for the latest operating hours.
Bonne journée, darlings!
Photos by @myparisportraits, April 2021.