Parc de Saint-Cloud

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The Parc de Saint-Cloud is often considered as one of the most beautiful gardens of the Île de France region. It commands stunning views over the city of Paris, from the skyscrapers of La Défense to Montmartre, the Eiffel Tower and Montparnasse Tower.


Situation

The Parc de Saint-Cloud is located in the western suburb of Paris overlooking the river Seine. Its official name if Domaine National de Saint-Cloud and is owned by the French state.

The park covers an area of 460 hectares, making it one of the largest in the Île de France region.


Visit of the Saint-Cloud Park

The park includes great perspectives, fountains, basins, formal and English gardens, with splendid views over the western part of Paris.

The former Palace of Saint-Cloud

The palace of Saint-Cloud had been a royal and imperial residence since the 16th century. It was the home of Monsieur, Louis XIV’s brother and also a preferred residence to Napoleon. At the event of the Franco-Prussian war (1870-71), it was occupied by the Prussian army who used the heights of the park to shell Paris. By counter-firing the strategic site, the French set fire on the palace on the 13 October 1870. The ruins were definitely removed in 1892. The position of the palace is outlined in the park with conical yew bushes.

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Today, there are some serious considerations made to have the palace rebuilt one day.


A garden created by Le Nôtre

The park owes its creation to landscape architect Le Nôtre (1613-1700) who laid out a formal garden next to the palace of Saint-Cloud. The French garden features an orangerie and luxurious flower beds.

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Later were added an English garden (Jardin du Trocadéro) and Marie-Antoinette’s rose garden.

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The Grande Cascade fountain

The Grande Cascade, built in 1664-1664 by Antoine Le Pautre, is a large and beautifully ornate fountain leading the waters down a 90 metre slope into a large reflecting pool at the bottom.


Panoramic Views over Paris

There are many sites offering stunning panoramic views of Paris. One of the most famous is at the site of Rond Point de la Balustrade where a monument used to stand prior to the 1870-71 Franco-Prussian War. The terrace soars some 100 metres above the Paris skyline, from the skyscrapers of La Défense to the hill of Montmartre, the Eiffel Tower and Montparnasse Tower.

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The woodlands

Beyond the formal and English gardens, the woodlands extend to the suburbs of Sèvres, Ville d’Avray, Marnes la Coquette and Garches.

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The Pavillon de Breteuil

In the south limits of the park stands the Pavillon de Breteuil, Saint-Cloud’s Trianon, who has been the headquarters of the General Conference on Weights and Measures (Bureau des Poids et des Mesures) since 1875.


View our blog post about Parc de Saint-Cloud featuring some of our black and white photos.

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About Author

Pierre is a French/Australian who is passionate about France and its culture. He grew up in France and Germany and has also lived in Australia and England. In 2014 he moved back to Europe from Sydney with his wife and daughter to be closer to their families and to France. He has a background teaching French and holds a Master of Translating and Interpreting English-French with the degree of Master of International Relations and a degree of Economics and Management.

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