This vast paterre garden is seen in its full glory in the Autumn when all of the citrus trees are out in the avenues between the paterre beds. As most tourists seem to be put off descending the long flight of stairs to access the Orangerie I was able to get a lovely shot or two free from the loitering hoi polloi.
The actual indoor part of the orangery houses more than 1000 plants and the current design was conceived and constructed by Jules Hardouin-Mansart in the 1680s. By the time the orangery was constructed the understanding of plant cultivation had reached a stage where the Versailles trees could be coaxed into giving fruit and flowers all year round, a fact that please Louis XIV greatly (the old sourpuss).
Citrus fruit was still a luxury in Europe which had only been about from the late 15th century so the Orangery was not just a means of getting oranges on a regular basis but was also a splendid display of wealth.
And what allowed Orangeries to suddenly spring into existence around Europe? Basically it was the technological advancements that permitted the manufacture of large panes of glass suitable for letting in sufficient light while retaining heat in the cold European climates.
Next week is Recipe share week so if you have a delicious orange based recipe or anything else to tempt the old taste buds then do add a link to your recipe post in the comments below and I will add it to the summary next Friday.
Bon weekend mes amis!