LE PAVILLON FRAIS
The Cool Salon
The Pavillon Frais, also called Salon Frais (Cool Salon) or Pavillon du Treillage, was constructed under the reign of Louis XV between 1751 and 1753. It was designed by the renowned Ange-Jacques Gabriel, "Architecte du Roi", who is considered by many the greatest architect of the 18th century, pictured here.
Amongst his exceptional body of work are the marvelous Versailles Opera and the Place de la Concorde. He designed the Petit Trianon complex including the Petit Trianon, the Pavillon Francais and the Pavillon Frais.
The Pavillon Frais was used on warm days as a private dining room by the Queen and ladies of the court. The King also dined there often.
The Pavillon Frais is located opposite the exquisite Pavillon Francais, in the Petit Trianon domain, with a wonderful site line between the two buildings complementing one another. The beautiful and fanciful enclosed garden of the Pavillon Frais was unique to Versailles and additional focal points included two elongated water basins with two perfectly formed parterres. Excavations revealed these pools were decorated with mosaic tiling, unlike anywhere else at Versailles.
The one room stone pavilion was ultimately charming with elaborate, intricate trelliswork with garden motifs in stone, situated in an enchanting garden setting. To each side of the pavilion were two arched trellis galleries 20 meters long each. The pillars were adorned on top with topiary spheres of orange trees providing an alluring scent. The interior of the pavilion was decorated with walls of marvelous boiseries, sculpted with garlands and flowers, mirrors, a chimney and a Savonnerie carpet.
The Pavillon Frais was demolished under Napoleon in 1810 and the parterres and basins in 1813. The Pavillon and its gardens were scheduled to be restored in 1980, but due to lack of funds, only the stone structure was worked on, excluding the garden, pools, interiors, trelliswork, and adornment.
This historic restoration was completed in 2010 with the help of the American Friends of Versailles. The Pavillon Frais, returned to its former beauty and grace, greatly contributes to the perfection of the jardin à la française and stands out as an important tribute to the American-French relationship.