The Best of France and nearby!

The Roland Garros tennis tournament settles in les Serres d’Auteuil, Paris exotic garden greenhouses

3 min read
The Roland Garros tennis stadium inaugurates the semi-buried Simonne-Mathieu tennis court in the heart of the greenhouses garden of Auteuil (originally called Jardin des Serres d’Auteuil). With a capacity of 5.000 spectators, this clay (of course) tennis construction is surrounded by luxurious vegetation in a protected area. Those are confined under the concrete tribunes, into greenhouses organized in different climate types, finely landscaped. This new Simonne-Mathieu area is named after the former french double tournament winner, who was also a resistant during World War II (photo credits: Jimmy Levy).
This project is registered through a wider expansion and modernization phase for this huge stadium, initiated 2015 until 2021, for an estimated cost of 360 million euros.
The complex should propose to the tennis players a renovated Central tennis court, with retractable roof at the top of its 31 meters height. This should also be surrounded by 8 new tennis courts.
This legendary Roland Garros tournament, whose poster is renewed every year thanks to the talents of a famous artist (see the photo upon), proposes since this year, a lot of digital services. The visitors could indeed experiment some virtual reality devices as long as an application to discover the tournament and easily benefit from its facilities. This could be made it true, due to the wedding with two new partners, Rolex and Infosys. Those will also strengthen the overall sponsorship budget of the tournament, which rises this year to a total budget of 270 million euros (65 million just for partnerships). The tennis games are broadcasted worldwide in front of 189 countries, give the benefit of nearly 92 million euros of TV rights.

Located in the famous Bois de Boulogne, the Jardin les Serres d’Auteuil offers to visitors an unusual journey through space and time. It combines the elegance of a regular garden, the charm of late 19th-century architecture, the exoticism of tropical plants from far-off lands and the richness of a botanical garden. This magical place has become over the years an eclectic garden where are gathered many testimonies of the Art of landscaping and conservation. There is a large central lawn adorned with pretty floral decorations around which a symmetrical architecture of classic style, typical greenhouses from the end of the 19th, a landscaped English garden with a more sinuous and hilly design, a garden of Japanese inspiration and a small garden with Mediterranean essences. A paradise for lovers of botany and horticulture, with its remarkable trees and splendid collections of rare plants, the garden shows an impressive collection of more than 6,000 plants, categorized into thematic segments (succulent, New Caledonia plants) or systematic (palms, begonias, ficus, ferns…). Flanked by two curvilinear paths gently sloping, a staircase 20 meters wide allows access to the vast regular lawn. The pilasters adorning the retaining wall of the terrace are decorated with 14 masks from Auguste Rodin’s studio. At the opposite end of the parterre stands a fountain signed Jules Dalou, whose medallion represents the Triumph of Bacchus.

But those blue cast iron greenhouses are, without a doubt, one of the wonders of this garden. They were built in full vogue winter gardens and are the last big greenhouses to have been built in France in the 19th century. Their metallic structure offers a range of shades of blue, green and turquoise. Entirely renovated in 1999, the palmarium reveals in tropical heat its splendid specimens of tropical, subtropical trees and shrubs. They stand next to an imposing palm tree from the Canaries, which attends, impassive, the ballet of Japanese carps that animates the waters of the basin.

Jardin des Serres d’Auteuil, open everyday from 9am to 8pm / 3, avenue de la Porte-d’Auteuil 75016 Paris.

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