The Great Terrace

The Great Terrace, a masterpiece by André Le Nôtre

 

The Great terrace was ordered by Louis XIV to Le Nôtre and it's one of his best realisations.

A balcony overlooking the valley of the Seine from a height of over 60 metres, and accentuated by the edge of the forest, the Great Terrace is Le Nôtre’s masterpiece. 1945 metres long (or 1000 toises) and 30 metres wide, it was built between 1669 and 1674. Major terracing works were required to give the impression that the terrace stretches to the horizon. To achieve this effect, the path of the terrace widens imperceptibly as the visitor strolls along, thus slowing the intersection of the parallels at the horizon. Built according to the principle of Vauban’s citadels, the terrace starts with a semi-circle, the Belvedere, and ends with an octagon leading to the Château du Val. It offers a unique, stunning view across the valley of the Seine and Paris. Through a series of optical manipulations, Le Nôtre succeeded in setting up a dynamic: aware that a straight line does not tempt the visitor, he tricks the eye and creates a foreshortened perspective through a series of differences in levels (anamorphoses).

 

Surprising visual effects

 

 

Légend


. A view to Paris
The Great Terrace offers a splendid view on the west surrounding area of Paris.

. An view on the royal promenade
Le Nôtre is a specialist of perspective. he succeded to give the illusion that it's shorter than it is.