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Author Topic: What powered the fountains at Versailles before electricity?  (Read 16025 times)

Offline alan101

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A friend recently visited the palace at Versailles. He came back with an interesting question.  How was water pumped through the multitude water features (fountains, etc.) before electricity?  I have no idea.  Can anyone help?

Thanks,
Alan.


 

Offline eric l

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What powered the fountains at Versailles before electricity?
« Reply #1 on: 03/04/2007 17:10:40 »
The original system was completely hydraulic.  There were some sources for water on levels higher than the Versailles gardens (rivers that were dammed and linked to Versailles by miles of copper aquaducts) and there was the famous "machine de Marly".  For info in English :  see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ch%C3%A2teau_de_Marly.  There is a more elaborate link, which I can find only in French :  www.mairie-louveciennes.fr/download/machine.pdf
Some more links in English :
In French :

I have to add that this machine never could serve all the fountains at once, an that specialized workmen had to shut off valves and open others as the king walked through the gardens, so that the fountains within his sight would always be working.
 

Offline alan101

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What powered the fountains at Versailles before electricity?
« Reply #2 on: 03/04/2007 18:04:00 »
Thanks Eric!
 

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What powered the fountains at Versailles before electricity?
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