The Seine runs through it

Tour in the Domaine National de Saint-Germain-en-Laye

78100 Saint-Germain-en-Laye

  • Boucle
Départ - Château de Saint-Germain

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Etape 1 - Le Pavillon Henri IV
Etape 2 - Les vignes de Saint-Germain-en-Laye / Le Pecq
Etape 3 -Les jardins à la française
Etape 4 - La table d'orientation
Etape 5 - La Terrasse
Etape 6 - Le chêne des Anglais
Etape 7 - le chêne François 1er
Etape 8 - Le jardin anglais
Etape 9 - Rond de Pontoise

Come exploring in the heart of the French- and English-style gardens of the Château-Vieux de Saint-Germain and discover the stunning view over the Seine valley.

Departure point - Château de Saint-Germain
The tour begins at the gates to the gardens of the Château de Saint-Germain, which you leave on your right as you enter.

Stage 1 - Pavillon Henri IV
One of the vestiges of the Château Neuf de Saint Germain, the Pavillon Henri IV, which was the birthplace of Louis XIV, is now a 4-star hotel and restaurant.

Stage 2 - Vineyards of Saint-Germain-en-Laye/Le Pecq
From the “Petite Terrasse” you have a view over the vineyard of 1,850 vine stocks which produce two varieties of grapes for the pinot noir “Vin des Grottes” (cave wine).

Stage 3 - French-style gardens
Totally redesigned between 1662 and 1674 by Le Nôtre, who created the Boulingrin (lawn), the Grand Parterre and the Jardin de la Dauphine.

Stage 4 - The toposcope
From an elevation of 84 metres, you can enjoy remarkable views over western Paris.

Stage 5 - The Terrace
From 1668 to 1675, Le Nôtre created a succession of gardens, and finished by building a terrace 30 metres wide and 2,400 metres in length. The wrought iron railings were added between 1857 and 1871.

Stage 6 - Le Chêne des Anglais (Oak of the English)
(near the Half-Moon fortification)
Under this oak tree, James II and VII Stuart of Scotland, who lived in exile at Saint-Germain until his death (1689-1701), came to pray before a statue of the Virgin.

Stage 7 - Le Chêne François Premier
(plot 204 indicated by the blue markers)
The oak tree was on the right just before the "Etoile des neuf routes" (nine-way intersection). It was one of the forest’s oldest trees and it was named after François Premier. This part of the forest, known as “Le Petit Parc” was fenced off by François Premier to allow the royal children to use it freely.

Stage 8 - Le Jardin Anglais
In 1845, the railway line was extended, cutting right through the Grand Parterre. A station was built in front of the château in place of one of Le Nôtre’s ponds. To compensate, Louis-Philippe ordered the creation of the English Garden.

Stage 9 - Rond de Pontoise
This “Ring” as it is currently called, is being studied as a potential site on which to reconstruct the former “Grand Bassin” ornamental lake.


How to get there?

The Seine runs through it

Place Charles de Gaulle

78100 Saint-Germain-en-Laye

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