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The Grandeur of Versailles Took My Breath Away

A few weeks ago when I walked from the train station in Versailles to the palace, I had no idea what I was about to see.

The palace remains a national treasure for the French, illustrating the power of the French monarchy in the 17th century.

But it was the garden, laid out from 1661 by the King’s Gardener Andre Le Notre, that I was there to see.

The vastness of the garden  was what impressed me first. I could not possibly walk the many acres of the gardens with their parterres,

Paths of gravel in the garden at Versailles lead a visitor down to the Grand Canal.
Paths of gravel in the formal garden at Versailles lead a visitor down to the Grand Canal.

groves, statues, fountains and pools.

That one person could envision a garden of this size, which took decades to finish, amazed me.

Though it was a formal design, with symmetry and straight lines everywhere, it still is a beautiful expression of garden as art.

Just as a painter can paint with oils on canvas, a landscape gardener like Le Notre designed outdoor space with the elements of plants, water, and stone.

I am glad I took the train from Paris to see this grandest of gardens.

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