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Versailles Gardens

On Sunday the fountains will run and there will be fireworks.
Most of the Gardens of Versailles were laid out by Andre le Notre (1613 - 1700). The gardens cover over 250 acres of land. One of the most amazing things about the gardens are the fountains. The King had to go to great lenghts to pump water from the Seine and Eure out to Versailles. The Marly waterworks carried water from the Seine to Versailles via the Louveciennes aqueduct. Louis even tried to deviate the course of the Eure River, but this project was cancelled due to the war in 1668. In the end, the water works engineers had people running around ahead of the King turning valves to insure that wherever the King was, the fountains would be working.

The gardens evolved over the years. There are a couple of interesting places that no longer exist. One was called the Maze which was, of course, a Maze. It was made up of shrubs. At one time there was also a zoo which was called the Menagerie where the King had all kinds of exotic animals.

Depending on how much time you have, just walk around. Below are some highlights you should try to see.

South Parterre / Orangerie - Louis XIV liked oranges. I have never been to Versailles when they were out. There are lots of fruit trees that are brought outside during the summer.

 

Water Parterre - Nice view of the back of the palace. Some pretty neat bronze statues in the ponds. This is what you can see from the Hall of Mirrors.

 

Gardens of North Parterre of Palace of Versailles
Topiary hedges provide shelter for flowering plants in the lavish gardens of the North Parterre of the Palace of Versailles, France.

 

The Fountain of Apollo - The fountain shows Apollo in his chariot rising out of the sea. Don't miss this. There is a place to eat nearby. The food is pretty good and very reasonable. Get your Croque Madame sandwich here

 

The Latona Fountain - Take a real close look at the sculptures. Each tier consists of carvings of frogs, turtles, and men and women with frogs legs or heads with over 50 water jets.


The Green Carpet - Look at the statues on both sides when walking to the Apollo Fountain

The gardens have all kinds of side paths with little gardens, fountains, and waterfalls that you can walk down and explore. It will all depend on how much time you have and if you are interested. Pick up some of the pamphlets that explain further details than I have typed for you. There are also guided garden tours available

 

 

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