Spanning across vast hectares, beautifully adorned with trees, fountains and a blissful canal, the gardens of Versailles make a delightful sight to behold! The magnificent Versailles gardens found their way into getting inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List with their extraordinary beauty and rich history. One cannot simply overlook the breathtaking aura of the French lush grass and the dewy leaves shining stunningly in the morning sun.
André Le Nôtre, one of the greatest landscape architects in France during the 17th Century, was entrusted to design, create and renovate these gardens by Louis XIV, who declared Versailles as the political center of France in his reign. Versailles was a country village and home to the royal family in political power. Upon the beginning of the French Revolution, Louis XIV, along with his family, was forced to flee to the capital from their home when a mob attacked the palace of Versailles. Thus, till date Versailles is considered as a symbol of absolute monarchy, power, corruption and revolution.
Versailles Gardens: Unparalleled Chef D’oeuvre
Just a few miles away from Paris, the suburban Versailles boasts of the splendid gardens surrounding the Royal Palace. When the sun king expanded the hunting marshlands to an expansive estate full with distinctive beauties and lavishness, the gardens were built as prodigal residences for a royal family in Europe.
Some of the prominent attractions contributing to the gardens’ marvelousness are:
Decorative water bodies elegantly made across the Versailles to accent the grounds, provide the visitors with a breathtaking sight. A large canal along with two parterres and large pools adds grace and stretches from the gardens to the edges of the suburbs. The layout of the Grand Canal by André Le Nôtre amazingly converted the east-west vista into an open region infused with light with length extending till eyes can see. It took eleven years to construct the vast canal (1668-1679), featuring a symmetrical layout that never fails to impress the on lookers.
Pools and Statues
Le Nôtre was a master in designing artistic pools and statues. Parterres created in a way to reflect light into the windows of the renowned Hall of Mirrors. The pools contain statues of nymphs, men and children. It is said that the statues represent the major rivers flowing in France- Loire, the Loiret, the Saône and the Rhône.
Designed according to French, Roman and Greek themes and sprinkling water over the statues, the major fountains tell the stories of ancient mythology and epic tales. The sculptures crafted on the Latona – one of the main fountains in the center walkway of the Gardens tells the story of Diana, mother of Apollo, asking Jupiter to protect her children from the Lycia Residents, while the Apollo fountain shows God Apollo on a chariot with four horses and three men. Other fountains depict many mythological characters to add a mystical appeal to the gardens.
The gardens are beautifully designed to establish an estate with enticing nature and are now considered as one of the magnum opuses in France. They can be easily reached by hopping on a bus or a train from Paris and are a must visit for the tourists who are looking for the picture-perfect sights of the Louvre and the Eiffel tower. The gardens of Versailles never cease to mesmerize their guests.
Without a doubt, a trip to Versailles will be an astonishing experience! The landscapes of Versailles with its breathtaking aura inculcate enigmatic appeal that makes Versailles one of the top tourist attractions.
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I am an addicted traveler based in Sydney, Australia and I explored Europe, North & South America, East Asia & South-East Asia. I love sharing my travel knowledge, I want to benefit my readers and give valuable travel advice.