Tuesday, October 5, 2010
The gardens' main attraction (which rivaled the attraction of people-watching) wasn't lovely flowers, no, it was the architectural wonder known as the Rotunda. The Rotunda housed musical performances such as the composer, Mozart who performed there as a child. Those entering the Rotunda would be awed by the centerpiece, a large, ornate support containing the heat sources so you could walk about even in the cold of winter while other pleasure gardens were still closed.
Despite its extreme popularity, Ranelagh's 18th century heart, that is the Rotunda, was destroyed in 1805 after a drop in visitors. The gardens remained but lacked the atmosphere they once boasted in the previous century. The soul of Ranelagh was now gone. However the atmosphere is still captures in the immortalized prints and paintings of the romping ground.