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Château de Chantilly: Gardens: View of the Grande Cascade
Imaged from a lantern slide used for teaching. Water cascades at the head of a vista and allee were common in French and Italian gardens of the period.
Between 1522 and 1567 Anne de Montmorency enclosed the park, made a walled kitchen garden (potager) and created the great terrace below the chateau's east front. Of these, only the terrace survives. When employed by the Grand Conde, to redesign the gardens at Chantilly (1663-1688), André Le Nôtre seized upon this feature as the fulcrum of his design. More than any other garden Chantilly demonstrates Le Nôtre's mastery when confronted with a difficult and asymmetrical site; the garden's character is derived from the site's abundant supply of water, which is used for its decorative value throughout. Le Nôtre's ingenuity is still evident in the Grand Parterre and the canal. From 1773 Le Nôtre's gardens east of the Grand Parterre were converted by Louis-Joseph, Prince de Condé with the advice of Julien-David Le Roy (from 1775) into a fashionable jardin anglais. This included a mock hamlet, a group of thatched rustic buildings around a green, which anticipated the more famous hamlet of Marie-Antoinette at Versailles. Between 1817 and 1819 the architect Victor Dubois (1779-1850) laid out the park à l'anglaise. Since Chantilly has been administered by the Institut de France, Le Nôtre's Grand Parterre and canal, the hamlet and Maison de Sylvie have all been restored.