France,  Paris

Gardens of Versailles – how Louis XIV subordinated nature

While the construction of the Palace of Versailles was quite a simple task for a king like Ludwik XIV, subordination of 800 hectares of nature is quite a challenge.

The main axis of the Versailles park
The main axis of the Versailles park

The plan to create a park with beautiful gardens was entrusted to the architect André Le Nôtre, and the work began in 1660.

Geometric forms in the Versailles Gardens
Geometric forms in the Versailles Gardens

Each element of the royal garden was carefully planned, and the whole scenery was directed.

Ogrody w Wersalu
Flower bed on the upper terrace, Versailles

You can enter the Versailles park for free if you do not visit the palace. In my opinion, it is quite an interesting prospect to go to the gardens on a different day than to the Palace of Versailles, because the queue to enter and the sightseeing of the apartments can be exhausting. If we add to this a peaceful walkway of the park, it grows to the rank of a heavy task, and yet the gardens were created for the pleasure of their visitors.

Palace buildings with the main chamber of Louis XIV, Versailles
Palace buildings with the main chamber of Louis XIV, Versailles

After crossing the security gates, we will be in the main square Place d’Armes. From there, go to the left and after going through the courtyard, we will enter the garden complex.

Statues in the Versailles Gardens
Statues in the Versailles Gardens

We will see gardens, and continuing straight, we can visit the entire park and reach the private palaces of Marie Antoinette – Petit and Grand Trianon (entrance paid).

Grand Trianon, Ogrody w Wersalu
Grand Trianon, Versailles Gardens

The Versailles Gardens are the archetype of the jardin à la français, the so-called French garden based on geometrical forms, trimmed in fanciful forms of hedges and beautiful fountains. They show the perfect combination of vegetation, architecture and sculpture.

Sculptures by the fountain in the Versailles Gardens
Sculptures by the fountain in the Versailles Gardens

 

“Louis XIV was proud of his garden and had good reason for it, including groves, swimming pools, ground floors, canals, fountains and sculptures.” In 1669, eighty thousand chestnuts, spruces, hornbeams, oaks and elms were planted in the garden for hydration. the number of plants required a mass of sewage and irrigation equipment, and their length extended over sixty kilometers, and about two hundred pumps were used to pump water from the Seine. “

Latona Fountain, Versailles Gardens
Latona Fountain, Versailles Gardens

 

In the Versailles gardens you can spend the whole day walking along paths, resting by the ponds or eating lunch at a cafe in the park. Of course, the right weather is conducive to discovering this place. In the summer, when everything blooms and plants completes the charm of this place, it is more beautiful than winter. However, if visiting Paris in the colder months, I also recommend going to the Versailles gardens, because then they are surrounded by a mysterious atmosphere.

Restaurant in the Versailles Gardens
Restaurant in the Versailles Gardens

Do you know that there are 50 fountains and 200,000 trees in the Versailles Park?

Fountain of Apollo in the Garden of Versailles
Fountain of Apollo in the Garden of Versailles

I also invite you to read my post about the Palace of Versailles.

Useful information

Opening hours:

  • Summer season (March- November) 9 am – 6.30 pm
  • Winter season (November-March) 9 am – 5.30 pm

How to get there:

  • Train Rer C stop – Versailles-Rive Gauche
  • Train SNCF stop – Versailles-Rive Droite

Prices:

  • Gardens- Free entrance
  • Normal ticket 18€ – entrance to the palace and the gardens
  • Entrance to the palace, gardens and Tranion 23€ 

More information on the official website

Address

Place d’Armes, 78000 Versailles

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