Exploring the village of Marly
Marly le Roi owes its notoriety to Louis XIV who had his country residence built here. In the 19th century, artists came in search of tranquillity and inspiration.
Nowadays, the village's picturesque little streets continue to attract and charm visitors!
On Grande Rue, at No. 41: Until the 1970s, this beautiful property housed a hotel and restaurant, "Au Roi Soleil". Pierre Bourdan, a former presenter of France Libre for London radio, used to stay here, away from the hustle and bustle of Paris. At No. 46: Here once stood the Hôtel du Comte de Toulouse (named after the legitimate son of Louis XIV and Madame de Montespan).
At No. 39: Refurbished shops from the 17th and 18th centuries. Shops and royal nurseries used to fill the area between Rue Madame and Avenue des Combattants. Rue de Madame recalls the memory of Princess Palatine, the second wife of Philippe d'Orléans, brother of Louis XIV. She enjoyed staying in Marly.
At No. 6: This is the house where one of the greatest crooks of the 20th century, Alexandre Stavisky, was arrested in July 1926.
Stage 1 - Place de la Vierge
The square, once known as "carrefour d'en bas", was located in the heart of Marly village. The statue of the Virgin pays tribute to the village's Notre Dame church which was destroyed at the end of the 17th century. Opposite, stands the former dwelling of the Pourvoyeurs du Roy, which belongs to the royal palace.
Nearby, at No. 5 Rue Pasteur: Maison de la Blanchisserie du Château, another royal outhouse. There is still a wash house here. Opening onto this square is the Lycée Louis de Broglie, built in 1990 on the site of a property where the great tragedian, Rachel,once lived.
Stage 2 - Place du Chenil
Part of this square was once occupied by the ancient cemetery of Marly le Bourg, previously surrounded by the Prieuré Saint Etienne, Notre Dame church and the Hôtel Dieu. It is lined with some old houses, one of which was a key establishment in French cuisine for many years: the Auberge du Vieux Marly, where owner André Guillot welcomed many famous people. Opposite the town hall, is an enamelled plate reproduction of a painting by Alfred Sisley, "Place du Chenil at Marley, snow effect". This reproduction is found on the "Chemin des Impressionnistes" which stretches across eight towns and villages in the Seine loop. Hôtel de Ville and Parc du Chenil. During his stays in Marly, Louis XIV spent a great deal of time hunting in the forest. After becoming Lord of Marly le Bourg in 1693, he established his kennels in the gardens of the former seigniorial dwelling, and the great hunter, Monsieur de la Rochefoucauld, stayed in the renovated dovecote. The current building has retained some of its 18th-century structure, including the overall framework and the mascarons of the façade. The municipality purchased the building in 1966 and it has housed the council offices since 1988.
Stage 3 - Hôtel Couvé
An 18th-century hôtel particulier with a wrought iron balcony supported by corbels, cartouches and mascarons. It was used as the town hall between 1846 and 1988. The lower building, with a pediment and clock, was built in 1894 to house the boys' school.
Rue Champflour. In the Middle Ages, this street, then called Rue de l'Hôtel Dieu, connected Marly le Bourg to Marley le Chastel. At No. 1bis: Maison "Champflour", a vast property built in the 17th century for an old Marly family and of which only the communal areas remain. After renovation and conversion work, the house was occupied by Alexandre Dumas junior from 1884 until he died in 1895.
Stage 4 - Eglise Saint-Vigor
Adjoining the castrum, the original church dedicated to Saint-Vigor was built in the 11th century. By order of the king, it was replaced by the current church which was built by Jules-Hardouin Mansart and Robert de Cotte, and consecrated in 1689. This rural but royal church is dedicated to Saint-Vigor and Saint-Etienne. Its classical sobriety is remarkable. The entrance is on the left-hand side, opposite the presbytery.
The church was lavishly endowed by Louis XIV who came several times to attend service or Te Deum mass. Some liturgical items and paintings have been deposited at the Musée-Promenade de Marly-le-Roi - Louveciennes.
Place Victorien Sardou Domaine du Berduron. In the 17th century, the property belonged to Louis Blouin, the first valet de chambre of Louis XIV. Substantially transformed, it was acquired in 1863 by Victorien Sardou, who established an orange orchard there.
Château des Délices. Built in the 18th and 19th centuries, behind the church. The estate was taken over in 1955 by the Drouot group and today houses the regional headquarters of Assurances Axa. A beautiful construction with glass features which fits perfectly with its surroundings.
Stage 5 - La Grande Rue
The backbone of the ancient village which leads to the park entrance. This fairly steep street (Louis XIV called it the "very steep mountain" and had it paved in 1690), is lined with typical houses that make up a beautiful uniformity. It was inhabited in the 17th and 18th centuries by the winegrowers, tradesmen and craftsmen who worked for the palace, as well as noblemen, bourgeois and "scoundrels" wanting to gamble at the palace "casino". Worth noting: the old tile roofs, the hipped dormer windows and the little niches in the façades, housing protective saints.
Rue Coysevox, at No. 12: Pretty country house with a hipped dormer window
via which grain was hoisted to the attic with the help of a pulley system fixed under the roof overhang.
Grande Rue, at No. 18: an old canted house with wrought iron window supports and an interior staircase with railings. At No. 19/21: A classical 17th and 18th century mansion. At No. 23: Outhouses of the Hôtel du Duc de Gèsvres, who was a Paris governer, built of 18th-century ashlar. Vast carriage gate with mascaron and small timber balcony, 19th century. At No. 27: In the courtyard, a typical country house with a balcony and covered gallery, 16th and 17th centuries. At No. 52: House with 3 mascarons and 2 bull's eye windows (Hôtel de Toulouse outhouses).
End point: Tourist Office
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