A Tradition of Innovation
Potager du Roi, the kitchen garden of the Palace of Versailles, has a long history as a place of horticultural instruction and innovation. Created in the late seventeenth century to fulfil King Louis XIV’s vision of creating the most impressive palace in the world, the Potager is just over 23 acres. It consists of 28 small gardens on the periphery and a Grand Carré made up of 16 square vegetable gardens surrounding a central fountain.
The Potager du Roi has been cultivated for more than 300 years, introducing new microclimates and methods for producing fruits and vegetables in and out of season.
The Potager du Roi was included on the 2018 World Monuments Watch to help mobilize local and international stakeholders to embrace and become part of a new vision for the site.
Watch Day 2019
Following a successful Watch Day in 2018, the École Nationale Supérieure de Daysage (ENSP) hosted a second Watch Day at the Potager du Roi on June 1-2, 2019. The event welcomed hundreds of visitors to the garden, featuring expert-guided tours of conservation work, an art exhibition, musical performances, writing workshops, food tastings, and shopping.
With generous support from American Express, WMF is currently collaborating with the ENSP to implement conservation, educational, and community engagement activities that will help revitalize the site.
Conserving the Art of Espalier
On Watch Day, visitors learned about the art of espalier— the training and pruning of a fruit tree to grow flat against a masonry wall. The southern wall of the Jardin du Breuil, where plum trees grew at the time of Louis XIV, is integral to the success of the technique.
In collaboration with the ENSP, WMF is helping to restore the south wall of the Jardin du Breuil and revitalize this cultivating tradition.
Thank you to American Express, founding sponsor of the World Monuments Watch, for sponsoring this special Watch Day at the Potager du Roi.
Learn more about how the World Monuments Watch is empowering communities around the world through heritage conservation.