Thursday, October 1, 2009

12 Days in Paris: Marly-le-Roi

After a week in the city, we were ready for a country sojourn, so we took a short train ride out to spend some time in Louis IX's country town of Marly-le-Roi. The train ride out of Paris to the suburbs gives you a different feel for Parisien life and some good views of the city skyline as well.We arrived at the Gare de Marly about lunch time and walked up the hill to the old center of town. (There is a whole separate part of Marly-le-Roi across the tracks that we did not venture into.) Guess what? It was Monday and virtually the whole town was closed! No shops or brocantes open (and there are quite a few along Grand Rue, the main street of town). The museums were closed as well! We should have heeded our own advise and checked. But the restaurants open at noon, so we had a fine lunch of crepes and salad before wandering about and going to the park.The heart of this little town is the vast grounds of the former country chateau of Louis IX, known today as Parc de Marly. The Sun King had this estate built in the 1680s to give him a break from the rigors of court life and the building of the Palace at Versailles. While Louis XIV loved the country chateau, his successor, Louis XV, found it dreary and uncomfortable, so the grounds fell into disrepair, eventually being sold to a private party, who had the whole building demolished and sold in pieces during the early 1800s. The Cour Marly of the Louvre museum houses much of the recovered art and artifacts from Marly. The grounds of the estate are now a vast and wonderful park.
TIP:
Stop at the Office de Tourisme on Avenue des Combattants to pick up a map of town. It helps, as the narrow streets twist and turn. The lady at the office was also helpful about other information about Marly.

1 comment :

  1. Loved all of your info. and pictures. I will save this formation in the
    hopes of getting to Paris one of these days. Thanks for all of the details.
    This is a great source of information.

    ReplyDelete

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