2013, the Year of André Le Nôtre

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERATo collimate means to adjust, to align the sight; for example, when you walk from the palace toward the Lake of the Hundred Swiss, the view of the French Garden below is completely concealed from you. It is only when you place your arms on the banisters, that the panorama opens up.

When walking down the Hundred Steps, with each flight of stairs the view changes, and  you can only be aware of a flight of stairs in front of you, each break between each successive flight functioning as another viewpoint.

Walking from the palace toward Latona, the same surprise, the fountain with its parterre remains invisible, until the Grand Canal begins to climb toward the horizon.

In the North, the waterfall of the bathing Diana is hidden from the on-looker, and so is Neptune: not even by the fountain of the Dragon can you appreciate the size of the pool behind; and you can only see the palace when on the other side of the pond.

To understand that all these photo opportunities were calculated by André Le Nôtre in XVII century, we need to visit the current exhibition about the King’s gardener. The exhibition will go on until the end of the winter break.

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