Parc de Bagatelle

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Bagatelle Castle with garden ground floor
Roses in the Roseraie de Bagatelle (in the foreground the Pollux variety )

The Parc de Bagatelle is a park with a small castle in the Parisian forest called Bois de Boulogne in the 16th arrondissement . Created in the 18th century by François-Joseph Bélanger and Thomas Blaikie , it has been owned by the city of Paris since 1905. Today the complex is also known for its rose garden with around 1200 varieties and an annual rose grower competition. The park is one of the four botanical gardens in the city of Paris .

The palace and park were created thanks to a famous bet between the 19-year-old Count von Artois (* 1757), the youngest brother of Louis XVI. and later Charles X , and his only slightly older sister-in-law, Queen Marie Antoinette . The Prussian architect Friedrich Gilly described the extraordinary history of the palace in one of his well-known essays.


The rock in La Bagatelle around 1910
Entrance courtyard of the Bagatelle Palace with sphinxes

In 1775 , the young Count of Artois bought a small pavilion built in 1720 in the Boulogne forest by Pierre Mouret for the Marshal of Estrées . This had at the time of Louis XV. first used as a hunting pavilion and later under the name Bagatelle Estrées wife for the organization of gallant rendezvous. It was in very bad shape.

Two years later, shortly before the court was leaving for the hunting season in Fontainebleau , Marie-Antoinette challenged Artois to host a reception for her in Bagatelle two months later, which seemed impossible given the dilapidation of the pavilion. Artois won the bet, which is said to have been staked at 100,000 livres .

He commissioned his first architect François-Joseph Bélanger and his Scottish garden architect Thomas Blaikie to prepare and plant the domain in just 64 days. Work began on September 21, 1777 and was completed in time for the inauguration scheduled for November 26. They included the new construction of the fully equipped and furnished Bagatelle Palace, including farm buildings, gardens, grottos , watercourses and flower beds. Building materials that were transported to Paris on the surrounding streets were confiscated in order to promote it.

After the French Revolution in 1789, the park initially became state property. Napoleon I acquired Bagatelle in 1806 as a hunting lodge. In 1835 the complex came into the possession of Lord Richard Seymour (1800–1870), who had the castle rebuilt according to his ideas, also in order to be able to accommodate parts of his extensive art collection, the basis of the later Wallace Collection . New buildings such as the orangery were built and the park was enlarged. His son Sir Richard Wallace (1818–1890) also expanded the property. In 1905, the city of Paris finally bought the complex, not least to prevent the park from being dismembered through partial sales by the heirs.

The park

Garden path
The classic rose garden
The landscape rose garden

The facility is a joint venture. It was conceived by François-Joseph Bélanger in an Anglo-Chinese style typical of the era and implemented, not without discrepancies, by Thomas Blaikie .

In 1905, the city of Paris commissioned the urban landscaper Jean-Claude Nicolas Forestier , a friend of Claude Monet , to restore the park. He also created a rose garden and a water lily pond.

Today, the Parc de Bagatelle houses part of the botanical collection of the botanical garden of the city of Paris . Around 2800 plant species are presented in small themed gardens, for example there is a vegetable garden (le potager) , a clematis collection, an iris garden or even a Mediterranean garden ( Jardin Mediterrannéen ).

Of particular importance is the collection of modern rose varieties, one of the largest in France with 9,000 rose plants and 1,200 varieties. It is divided into two rose gardens , the classic rose garden (Roseraie classique) and the landscape rose garden (Roseraie de paysage) . The gardens with a total area of ​​17,000 m 2 were laid out between 1905 and 1907.


Summer Olympics in 1900 and 1924

As part of the Summer Olympics in 1900 and 1924 , some polo games were played in the park.

Concours international de roses nouvelles

In July 1907, right after the rose gardens were laid out, the first Concours international de roses nouvelles ("International Competition for New Roses") took place in the park , which has been held every June since then. In 1985 it was expanded to include a competition for landscape roses.

Concours automobiles classiques a Bagatelle

4 ¼ liter "Embiricos" by Pourtout at the Concours d'elégance Bagatelle 1994

Based on the model of the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance in California , a beauty contest for vintage cars , the specialist magazine Automobiles Classique held the first Concours d'Elegance in the Parc de Bagatelle in 1988 . The competition was sponsored by Louis Vuitton from 1989 and, after the organizers withdrew, continued under its own direction as the Louis Vuitton Classic until 2002 . In addition to the actual competition, thematic exhibitions of historic vehicles and Louis Vuitton special exhibitions also took place.

Web links

Commons : Parc de Bagatelle  - collection of images, videos and audio files


  1. ^ Friedrich Gilly: Description of the Bagatelle country house near Paris , in: Collection of useful essays and news relating to architecture , vol. 3, 1799, I., pp. 106–118 ( available online at the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek )
  2. ^ Louis Petit de Bachaumont : Mémoires secrets pour servir à la République des Lettres .
  3. ^ Dictionnaire des Monuments de Paris. Editions Hervas, Paris 1995
  4. ^ Régine Salens: La "Folie" de Bagatelle du comte d'Artois à Sir Richard Wallace ( Part I , Part II ) on, 27./28. June 2011 (French, accessed July 12, 2014).
  5. Michel Racine (ed.): Créateurs de Jardins et de Paysages en France de la Renaissance au XXIe siècle. Actes Sud, Arles 2001, ISBN 2-7427-3280-2
  6. Parc de Bagatelle ( Memento of September 24, 2015 in the Internet Archive ). Garden description on (PDF, French).
  7. Rose Trials - Paris, France (Bagatelle) - June 19, 2014 ( Memento from December 19, 2014 in the Internet Archive ) on (accessed August 7, 2014).
  8. Les expositions de voitures anciennes: les 14 éditions de la Louis Vuitton Classic à Bagatelle (French, accessed December 19, 2014)
  9. Automobiles Classiques à Bagatelle in Bugatti Revue Volume 1, Issue 1, 1996 (English, accessed on December 4, 2014)
  10. Louis Vuitton Classic Bagatelle 2002 at (English, accessed December 4, 2014)

Coordinates: 48 ° 52 '17 "  N , 2 ° 14' 50"  E