|The sweeping view of the estate from the chateau. It takes
approximately one hour to walk from point the picture
was taken to the horizon.
|Sweeping garden views from a
The grounds surrounding the palace was lush, green and a wonderful place to wander. Although it wasn't intentional on our part, we visited the gardens during their fountain musical show. Baroque music filled the air as we moved along shaded boulevards lined with marble statues from one garden to
I thought the gardens were my favorite part of the estate then we discovered Marie-Antoinette's estate, a smaller enclave and retreat set on the outer edges of the larger Versailles estate. Abutting the Grand Trianon, the recreational residence for Louis XIV and his family (a located less than a half hour walk away from the grand palace), this English hamlet was given to Marie-Antoinette by Louis XVI in 1774. Marie-Antoinette was the only queen to leave her personal mark on Versailles with this English hamlet designed by French architect Richard Mique in 1787.
Stepping onto the grounds really felt like I was walking through an English village. The grounds are said to be perfectly preserved with the rail fences, thatched roof cottages, rose filled gardens and fish filled pond eliciting Britain. Only the nearby vineyards made me remember that we were actually in France and not England. The estate also includes a small farm and vegetable gardens. It truly felt like we were in another world and not a quick walk from the over the top opulence of the main palace. Spending time here was my favorite part of the weekend.
Versailles is one of those places I read about in school and only hoped that I would be able to visit. I feel lucky that I had the opportunity to visit and see the riches for myself. So if you get a chance to go, do it. Two days is ideal to take it all in and if you can, stroll the gardens during the fountain musical show. You won't be disappointed.
If you go:
Chateau du Versailles
Place d'Armes 78000 Versailles
Open daily, hours vary