The Latona Fountain before restoration - © EPV / Thomas Garnier
A project for dismantling and reassembling the fountain with the original materials
The whole fountain needed emergency restoration, especially as the Latona Fountain is an essential crossroads supplying the lower fountains, collecting water from the basins on the terraces.
This major, long-awaited project was finally undertaken in 2012 thanks to sponsorship from Fondation Philanthropia. Carried out under Pierre-André Lablaude, head architect for France’s Historical Monuments, the project comprised 3 major phases:
Dismantling the sculptures, marbles, masonry and piping
First of all, the entire basin structure was dismantled, component by component, including the 73 statues and the inside piping networks, not to mention the marble facing, the lead fountain basins and the masonry.
Removal of the lead sculptures - © EPV / Thomas Garnier
Restoring the components in the workshop
All these components were then sent to the workshop to be restored thanks to the expertise of the artisans, workers and technicians working to save this heritage – masons, stonecutters, marble and metal restorers, gilders and fountain engineers, etc.
Removal of the marbles - © EPV / Thomas Garnier
Reassembly of the Latona fountain
Finally, after painstaking reassembly of all the restored components, the Latona fountain, one of the oldest and largest in the Gardens of Versailles, will be returned to its original splendour.
Future appearance of the restored basin- © Pierre-André Lablaude
Showcasing the engineering trades
During the renovation work, the Palace of Versailles invites you to discover the exceptional work of the artisans, workers and technicians at several events organised on the site during which you can attend demonstrations of their expertise.
Here you can visit the audiovisual room where a series of films covers the different phases of the work; you can also look out the windows of the Arts and Crafts Workshop to admire the skills of the fountain engineers at Versailles. Watch live as the major restoration work continues on the cast iron and lead piping, notably on the “spider”, an exceptional feat of technical engineering that makes up the very hydraulic heart of the Latona fountain, out of which many pipes emerge to form the wealth of the Basin’s water displays.