La restauration des jardins de Versailles by Pierre-André LABLAUDE – Château de Bénouville

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La restauration des jardins de Versailles by Pierre-André LABLAUDE – Château de Bénouville

The restoration of the gardens of Versailles

The restoration of historic gardens, by definition ephemeral works, immediately poses a number of complex problems: How can we pass down to future generations the message of memory, beauty, culture and emotion that they portray? To do so, should we, can we restore them to their initial state? Since 1990, in Versailles, this is precisely the project undertaken, with the aim of restoring as faithfully as possible to the original layout. From Louis XIV’s Versailles, four centuries after the death of Le Nôtre, to Marie Antoinette’s Petit Trianon, from the French formal to the English landscaped garden, here the exercise has been unremittingly applied for over two decades, hence radically transforming the image of an old and morose park into an array of juvenile and varied landscapes, faithfully recreating the authentic work of their creators, and of which Pierre-André Lablaude will present both the difficulties and the discoveries.

Pierre-André Lablaude


A rarity in the world of heritage, Pierre-André Lablaude, chief architect and honorary general inspector of Historic Monuments, very quickly specialised in the conservation and restoration of historic gardens and old landscapes. In 1990, he took charge of the Versailles national estate where he has since conducted the restoration and replanting of the park and gardens, in their various plant, hydraulic, decorative and built features, and based on clearly identified and documented historic references.  He has also managed the Saint-Cloud National Estate and is currently working on the restoration of the gardens of the Château de Sceaux. Professor at the École de Chaillot (Theory of restoration, restoration of historic gardens) and president of the Scientific Committee of the École Française d’Extrême Orient (French School of the Far East), Pierre-André Lablaude also takes on a number of expertise missions on behalf of the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Unesco, in particular and for over twenty years as permanent expert for the preservation of the natural and monumental site of Angkor (Cambodia).

Further reading :
Le petit Trianon, domaine de Marie-Antoinette, Beaux-Arts Editions, 2009
Les jardins de Versailles, Scala, 2010