The gardens and Park of the Chateau de Versailles are certainly the most amazing gardens of Europe. It was during the reign of Louis XIV that André Le Notre, commissioned by the king, would transform this unappreciated and not particularly pretty site of the humble hunting lodge of Louis XIV’s father, into quintessential formal French garden that would astonish the whole world. He created hundreds of tree lined walk ways intermingled with white marble and gilded metal statutes, and redesigned the grounds with slops, parterres and steps along with many beautiful fountains. The gardens were created between 1661 and 1700 while the actual chateau was remodeled and enlarged for Louise XIV.
Ads for many different products from cars, to perfumes, to clothing frequently attempt to evoke the the elegance, opulence and perfection that the Chateau de Versailles is known for either by using the gardens or the chateau as a back drop or through content descriptions. For instance, many advertisements for jewelry attempt to conjure the extravagance of Versailles. Frequently the jewelry designs themselves were inspired from the palace architecture and ambiance. The Chateau de Versailles exudes elegance and opulence. The Hall of Mirrors at the Chateau de Versailles with its stunning crystal chandeliers alone could inspire both high end work in diamonds and lower end jewelry designers who work in cubic zirconia. Just recently a friend bought from an online jewelry store a couple of exquisite cubic zirconia rings for his girlfriend. He couldn’t afford a diamond set ring, but with the synthetic gemstone cubic zirconia the ring looked just as brilliant and captivating as the real thing. It turns out that cubic zirconia has a high refractive index with its dispersion exceeding that of diamonds. Also a cubic zirconia is often entirely colorless making it equivalent to a perfect “D” on diamond’s color grading scale. If cubic zirconia was available before the time of the French Revolution, perhaps many of the nobility of the period could have been as resplendent as members of the monarchy, but without having to spend exorbitant amounts of money for real diamonds!
Every year, thousands of tourists from all around the world can admire the beauty of the Chateau de Versailles gardens and numerous fountains. Even though the original perspective of these gardens were existing under Louis XIII, his son Louis XIV developed them even more and officially appointed Andre Le Notre who designed the gardens, but also Jean-Baptiste Colbert, Superintendent of the King’s Buildings, and Charles Le Brun, First painter of the King who produced the drawings for a large number of statues and fountains of the Versailles Park. Then he also appointed architect Jules Hardouin-Mansart who was the creator of the Orangerie.
Louis XIV loved details and he required from his team of architects and builders, that all projects would have to be submitted to him first, and he wanted all the details about the constructions, even the smallest.
This undertake of such colossal works took many months to be done. It required thousands of men, especially since the place where these gardens originally were only woods, grasslands and marshes. The dirt was transported by means of wheelbarrows, and the trees were transported by cart from all the provinces of France.
The Chateau de Versailles is a UNESCO World Heritage for 30 years now, and it is one of the most beautiful achievements of the 18th century French art. At first, is was just a humble hunting lodge, but all of the three Kings (Louis XIII, Louis XIV and Louis XV) who lives there until the French Revolution added improvements to make it more beautiful. And Louis XV was the King who chose the site to build the palace we know today and that represents a symbol of royal absolutism and embodiment of classical French art.
Vast amounts of earth had to be shifted to lay out the flower beds, the Orangerie, the fountains and the Canal, where previously only woods, grasslands and marshes were. Probably the world’s most famous garden, it was built for Louis XIV and designed by Andre Le Notre. The laying out of the gardens required enormous work. The earth was transported in wheelbarrows, the trees were conveyed by cart from all the provinces of France and thousands of men, sometimes whole regiments, took part in this vast enterprise.
They are beautiful for those of you who have never been there before. Please put it on the list.