The Garden Landscape Guide


Finding Versailles sometimes too hectic, Louis XIV had Marly made as a quiet retreat. It was a vast project but, unlike Versailles, was not a centre of court life. A good impression of the estate in its prime can gained from Gothein's illustration and text, including the contemporary description by Saint Simon. The house was destroyed during the French Revolution but the main elements of the garden survive, as does the air of quiet seclusion.

Domaine de Marly, 78160 Marly-le-Roi, France

Open all year, Dawn to dusk

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  • almost 5 years by Stephen Harmer 4 / 5

    Marly is not the place to visit if you are feeling blue, it feels sad, just the bare bones of what it once was. But do not leave it off your itinerary as you can still imagine the beauty and former importance of the parc with its strong axes that project to the suburbs of Paris. The parc now comes under Versailles and there are plans for a restoration of sorts. More 'interpretation' material in the parc would be useful and so would car and coach parking signs but small problems.
    If it rains you won't need an umbrella as 'the rain never wets at Marly'.

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Marly-le-Roi, France Photograph © Stephen Harmer
Marly-le-Roi Photograph © Stephen Harmer