The Rampe des Grottes, the Mur des Lions and the Pavillons Henri IV (where Louis XIV was baptised) and Sully (situated at Pecq) are the last remaining vestiges of the Château-Neuf and the magnificent composition of terraced gardens leading down to the Seine.
The Rampe des Grottes was once fitted out in grand style: the hydraulic diversions gave much pleasure to Henri IV and his guests. It led from the bottom of the terraced gardens to the Château-neuf. Distinguished artists, including the Francini brothers, collaborated to create seven artificial grottoes beneath the terraces, each one housing amazing automatons.
A SITE REWARDED IN 2017
Today, the Rampe des Grottes is classed as a Monument Historique, and in 2017, it was presented with the 'Rubans du patrimoine' regional award.
THE RAMPE REKINDLED FOR 2017 HERITAGE DAYS
In 2017, for the European Heritage Days, the Carabosse company decided to illuminate the Rampe by lighting it up with 1000 flames. Wrought-iron installations brought to life mechanically, eclectic music concerts and flaming torches placed from top to bottom of the Rampe revitalised this prestigious place.
In addition to the Rampe des Grottes, other vestiges of Saint-Germain-en-Laye's second château remain: the Mur des Lions and the Pavillons Henri IV (where Louis XIV was baptised) and Sully (situated at Pecq). All have been restored, or have today found a new purpose, like the Hôtel-Restaurant Pavillon Henri IV.
Listen to the podcast of an interview with Victoria Bernard (tourist advisor at the Office de Tourisme) by France Bleu during a guided tour of Saint-Germain-en-Laye: https://www.francebleu.fr/emissions/le-tour-de-l-ile-de-france-en-40-jours-09h45/107-1/etape-2-visiste-guidee-de-saint-germain-en-laye
All year round, daily.