As the Paris Chapter Day Trip to the Essonne has been rescheduled for the spring of 2021, we are pleased to present a free conference via Zoom to discover the Domaine départemental de Méréville, an historic monument, the last and most successful example of a picturesque garden from the end of the 18th century in Europe. Odile-Marie Tombarello, scientific attaché to the Domaine will give the conference and be joined by the President of the Department of Essonne, François Durovray, who will give welcoming remarks. Jennifer Herlein, FHS Executive Director, will serve as moderator. At the end of her presentation, Odile-Marie Tombarello will take questions from participants.
The Domaine de Méréville was designed for the Marquis de Laborde, Louis XV’s banker, who surrounded himself with the most prestigious architects and landscapers of his time, François-Joseph Bélanger and then Hubert Robert, to create an Anglo-Chinese garden. The Juine River was diverted to create islands, bends and lakes, artificial landscapes and caves were built to surprise the visitor during his bucolic stroll. The Department, which has owned the site since 2000, has rendered its former splendor to this heritage treasure. The historic paths have been reconstructed and the restoration of the lakes and follies are underway.