Bassin de Latone, Versailles

Bassin de Latone, Versailles (must see)

The gardens of Versailles are full of water features and one of the most famous is the Bassin de Latone.

It was designed by the famous landscape gardener André le Notre and built in 1670. The magnificent central fountain was sculpted by Gaspard and Balthazar Marsy.

The fountain looks a little like a wedding cake with its four tiers and centre figures. However, instead of the bride and groom you find on top of a wedding cake, the main statues represent the goddess Latone and her two children Apollo and Diana. On the three other tiers are statues of men and women, frogs, lizards and turtles.

According to Roman mythology, the goddess Latone fell in love with Jupiter. Hearing that she was pregnant, Juno – Jupiter’s wife – chased Latone from heaven. On earth the unfortunate goddess gave birth to her twins, but when she went to wash them and drink from a fountain in Lycia, the people refused to let her approach the water.

Latone cried out to Jupiter, who punished the people by turning them into frogs, lizards and turtles. Ovid mentions this legend in his famous work “Metamorphoses”, which inspired the Marsy brothers in their creation.

The fountain is an incredible example of 17th century hydraulics but over the centuries it is inevitably falling into ruin. A recent restoration program has been launched, with repairs estimated at about 7 million Euros.

Want to visit this sight? Check out these Self-Guided Walking Tours in Versailles. Alternatively, you can download the mobile app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" from iTunes App Store or Google Play. The app turns your mobile device to a personal tour guide and it works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

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Bassin de Latone on Map

Sight Name: Bassin de Latone
Sight Location: Versailles, France (See walking tours in Versailles)
Sight Type: Attraction/Landmark
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:

Walking Tours in Versailles, France

Create Your Own Walk in Versailles

Create Your Own Walk in Versailles

Creating your own self-guided walk in Versailles is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Versailles Introduction Walking Tour

Versailles Introduction Walking Tour

Situated on the southwest outskirts of Paris, Versailles is a small city famed for housing the opulent residence of French royalty, the Palace of Versailles. The latter is, by far, Versailles' main attraction, complete with its Hall of Mirrors, Grand Apartments and the Royal Chapel, as well as the spacious formal gardens adorned with fountains and sculptures. Another major attraction is the...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.8 Km or 2.4 Miles
Versailles Garden Fountains Tour

Versailles Garden Fountains Tour

Besides its many wonderful plants and trees landscaped into amazing patterns, the gardens at the Royal Palace of Versailles have another key ingredient: water. The marvelous fountains and other fantastic water features here only serve to underline the magnificent beauty of the whole complex. Take our tour to see the best water features in the royal gardens.

Tour Duration: 4 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 10.1 Km or 6.3 Miles