9.07.2008

Sunday Afternoon in the Park



Today, I visited the Parc de Bagatelle, in the heart of the Bois de Boulogne. Although the threat of rain loomed overhead, the park was well worth visiting. It was so picturesque that I had to remind myself that I was in Paris and not the Loire Valley.

The Parc de Bagatelle has an interesting history. It is the site of the Chateaux de Bagatelle from which it takes its name. The story goes that the Count d’Artois, brother of Louis XVI, boasted that he could build a folie or a whimsy of grand proportion in only three months. Upon hearing him, Marie Antoinette wagered him to do it. “Bagatelle!” said the Count.

Bagatelle means “trifle.” The Count won his bet. The Chateaux was completed in only 64 days, but one can imagine that it was not a mere trifle for the laborers working on the project.

Much to my disappointment the tour of the Chateaux was cancelled. I will return another day, as I love touring historic homes.

Nonetheless, the Chateaux sits on 59 beautifully manicured acres which include both formal and informal gardens. A tour of the grounds included a special exhibition called Jardins de Cristal, an impressive display of Baccarat, Daum, Lalique and Saint-Louis crystal sculptures.

For now, enjoy the gardens.

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