Friday, April 16, 2021

La Machine de Marly

From World in Paris:

La Machine de Marly was built between 1681 and 1684 to pump the water from the Seine River and then bring it to Château de Versailles and Château de Marly (the King’s weekend castle). This technical challenge was taken up by engineers from Liège, who applied pumping techniques used in the Liège mining industry at Marly but in unprecedented proportions. La Machine de Marly was a marvel of civil engineering. It was located on the Seine River banks, at the foot of the Hill of Louveciennes in Bougival. It was considered a World Wonder at the time, and it may have been the most extensive system of integrated machinery ever assembled to that date.

Fourteen wheels (like Louis XIV), twelve meters in diameter, moved more than two hundred and fifty pumps to bring up 5,000 m3 of water per day. The water was then directed by gravity through an aqueduct (Aqueduct de Louveciennes) to three successive reservoirs used to feed Versailles and Marly’s water games. This super machine – also called the Eighth World Wonder -, soon became a manifesto of King Louis XIV’s grandeur, a propaganda tool. The Machine of Marly was visited by tsars, queens, American presidents, and other important people. (Read more.)


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