King’s Kitchen Garden
Welcome to a garden of truly regal vegetables. It was at the demand of Louis XIV that Jean-Baptiste de La Quintinie, the director of the royal kitchen gardens and orchards, created this superb garden between 1678 and 1683, with its main purpose being to provide produce for the king’s table.
The king himself regularly used to enjoy walks around the garden. He would descend from the castle via the famous “Hundred Steps” that border the Orangerie and arrive by the King’s Gateway, which can still be admired today. He would then walk up an alleyway lined with pear trees before arriving at the central terrace of the Grand Carré, where the kitchen gardeners would be hard at work.
A royal vegetable garden
Supremely elegant, the King’s Kitchen Garden is now principally an incredible gardening library, which aims to preserve the ancient arts of pruning, with more than 60 different types of fruit tree. Since 1991, the space has also been home to the French horticultural school the École Nationale Supérieure du Paysage. Here, the school’s students can train on more than 400 varieties of fruiting plants and just as many vegetables, both contemporary and heritage. And they aren’t the only ones to benefit from the garden’s rich crops: at the entrance, a bookshop and boutique sells produce from the garden in the form of preserves and juices, as well as a selection of books on gardening and plants.
Access and contact
Days and opening hours
From 01/01 to 31⁄03, every Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday between 10 am and 6 pm. Closed exceptionally on January 1st.
From 01/04 to 31⁄10 between 10 am and 6 pm. Closed on Monday. Closed exceptionally on May 1st.
From 01/11 to 31⁄12, every Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday between 10 am and 6 pm. Closed exceptionally on bank holidays.
- Temporary exhibition
Single mean time tour90 mins
Single services tour
- Unguided individual tours available permanently
- Guided individual tours on request