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September 15, 2011

Romance/Getaway Series - Versailles

About the Palace:
The Château de Versailles, which has been on UNESCO’s World Heritage List for 30 years, is one of the most beautiful achievements of 18th-century French art. The site began as Louis XIII’s hunting lodge before his son Louis XIV transformed and expanded it, moving the court and government of France to Versailles in 1682. Each of the three French kings who lived there until the French Revolution added improvements to make it more beautiful.

About The Gardens:
From the central window of the Hall of mirrors (pictured above with the chandeliers) the visitor look down on the grand perspective that leads the gaze from the Water Parterre to the horizon. This original perspective, which preceded the reign of Louis XIV, was developed and prolonged by the gardener André Le Nôtre by widening the Royal Path and digging the Grand Canal. This vast perspective stretches from the façade of the Château de Versailles to the railings of the park.

My Thoughts:
This palace is well worth the bus trip outside of Paris. It's fairly easy to get to from Paris - a train or two and then the C RER line all the way out to Versailles. Once there just follow the crowds and they'll lead you to Versailles. And since there are crowds be prepared for lines and waiting as Versailles has to be one of the most visited attractions in Europe. Despite the crowds it is very easy to be swept away at the expansive palace and its gardens, which were my favorite part. The grounds outside are perfectly manicured and parts were symmetrical. The tree placement and hedge shapes were identical on one side and the other which, in my opinion, added to the beauty. We had the good fortune of visiting on a day when the sky was crystal blue and perfectly clear, which only amplified the natural beauty of the gardens.

One thing to note is that the area leading up to Versailles is a little difficult to walk as it is made of stone, so be sure to wear comfortable shoes that small pebbles can not easily penetrate. I would no suggest this location to travelers with babies/toddlers in strollers as it could pose difficult to maneuver, however once inside it's smooth and easy to tread.  

For more information visit:
disclaimer: passes provided for this visit and review

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