04 Nov The Gardens of Versailles
King Louis XIV of France moved his court and the political seat of the country to Versailles in 1682. During his reign, King Louis transformed the property into a magnificent palace, adding hundreds of rooms and transforming the grounds into one of the most recognized and revered examples of the jardin à la française, or the French formal garden. Created by André Le Nôtre, these gardens and the grounds on which they sit remain one of the most popular historical sites in the country of France, receiving as many as six million visitors annually.
The Size and Scope of the Gardens
The Gardens of Versailles cover nearly 1977 acres of land and are located just west of the palace. They are easily visible from the grand Hall of Mirrors, which is one of the most stunning and celebrated rooms in the château. The Gardens contain not only areas of manicured landscaping and lawns, but sculptures, fountains, and walkways as well. Also contained within the gardens is the Versailles Orangerie, which dates to before work on the palace began and provided fruit and blossoms for special occasions throughout King Louis’ reign.
Major Features of the Gardens
Some of the most popular features in the Gardens of Versailles are its fountains, grottos, and canals. Among these features are the Grotte de Thétys, the Bassin de Latone, the Bassin d’Apollon, and the Grand Canal. In addition to its beauty, the Grotte de Thétys is also functional, housing a reservoir that provided water throughout the garden to maintain the grounds.
This article is part of Santa Rita Landscaping’s blog series, The Most Spectacular Gardens in the World.