Louis XIV's more intimate residence, Marly-le-Roi, 10km north at Marly, was destroyed during the revolution. However, the grounds retain their outlines and a small museum on site preserves paintings, etchings and some of the furniture of this second residence. Built between 1681 and 1684 according to plans drawn up by Hardouin-Mansart, the Château at Marly was used for hunting escapades and games, with a few select guests only. A walk round the grounds coupled with the small museum of Marly memorabilia, makes for a pleasant stroll and a glimpse of a less public side of the Sun King.
The Musée Promenade Marly-le-Roi, on the east side of the park, by the Grille Royale (open WedSun 26pm; €3.05) documents the history of Marly Château through paintings, etchings and architectural plans of the Château. Given Louis' taste for grandeur at Versailles, the residence at Marly was surprisingly small; remains of the foundations can be seen on the terrace above the large pool in the park. The main feature was water, pumped up from the Seine by the innovative Marly water-machine and brought by aqueduct up to the hill behind, from where it sourced the pools and fountains of Marly as well as running south to feed the fountains at Versailles. Only two of the pools remain and they are devoid of the statuary features for which Marly was so renowned. Copies of two of the sculptor Coustou's large rearing horse sculptures (known as the Marly horses) do adorn their original position (at the north end, by the abreuvoir); the originals are on display in the Marly courtyard in the Louvre museum along with some of the other retrieved statues.
To get to the park at Marly-le-Roi from the centre of Paris, take the train from St-Lazare (direction St-Nom-La-Bretèche) and get off at Marly-le-Roi, from whence it's a fifteen-minute walk up avenue Général-Leclerc (opposite the train station) through the pretty old part of Marly and left down Grande-Rue to the western edge of the park. The entrance is to the left of the tourist office. Crossing the park eastwards to reach the museum takes roughly fifteen minutes.