The King’s vegetable garden, or ‘Potager du Roi’ was built in Versailles in 1683 at the request of Louis XIV, and the food grown here was used to feed the king and court. The King would enter by the golden gate leading into the park of the palace, and would bring friends to see the fruit trees, which he was particularly proud of. It’s a typical example of the French gardening style: surrounded on all sides by high walls, it is constructed around a central pond that also serves as a reservoir for watering, and is divided into 16 sections that are separated by espaliered fruit trees. Approximately 450 varieties of fruit and 400 varieties of vegetables are cultivated here, including many ancient and rare varieties. In 1873 the National Horticultural School was created here and it became a classified monument in 1926.
Open all year round, it’s a wonderful visit for anyone interested in gardening. It covers 9 hectares (almost 2.5 acres) and is quiet and relaxing. There are guided visits available, and events often take place involving dance, theatre or art. You can buy fruit, vegetables and plants grown in the gardens in the small shop adjoining. If you want to learn various gardening skills, a variety of courses and lessons are available throughout the year.
It’s a short walk from the Chateau, passing via rue de Satory you will also find many restaurants and cafés. Check out the Monument café just opposite, a great place for lunch where the delicious food is prepared using ingredients from the Potager du Roi (they also have free wifi and sell tickets to the chateau).
- Le Potager du Roi, 10 rue du Marechal Joffre, 78000 Versailles. RER C to Versailles Rive Gauche Château
April – October: Tuesday – Sunday 10:00 – 18:00
November – March: Tuesday and Thursday 10:00 – 18:00