The dream city, the world capital of romance, the instantly recognized French classic, the destination that's "always a good idea" - the list of epithets to inimitable Paris is simply everlasting! When referring to town, the imagination instantly draws the graceful silhouette of the Eiffel Tower majestically dominating the Champ de Mars, monument-lined boulevards with croissant-scented bistros, and adorable tour boats peacefully floating down the Seine. Paris is all about the good old classics like the majestic Notre Dame, about the iconic architecture of the Palace of Versailles, about chic boutiques, tastefully decorated homes, and, of course, the haute French cuisine and top-class Michelin-starred restaurants. Plus, Paris has been home and an infinite source of inspiration for hundreds of artists, creators, and philosophers who've set their hearts on the Montmartre district and turned the city into one of the planet's greatest art repositories, topped by the incomparable Louvre. We bet you have at least once dreamt to immerse in the exceptional atmosphere of sparkling Paris and to learn the art of living a-la French, haven't you?...Read more
Versailles, a city in the western suburbs of Paris, is best known for the Palace of Versailles, an important symbol of the absolute monarchy of the Ancien Régime. However, the city itself, along with its palace, has a rich history and offers several points of interest. Here's a summary of what makes Versailles interesting:
Palace of Versailles (Château de Versailles): Originally a hunting lodge for King Louis XIII, it was transformed and expanded by Louis XIV into a grand palace. The Palace of Versailles is a UNESCO World Heritage site and a testament to the peak of French royal power.
The Gardens of Versailles: Designed by André Le Nôtre, these gardens are as famous as the palace itself, with fountains, parterres, and groves that are beautifully laid out in a formal design.
Hall of Mirrors (Galerie des Glaces): The palace's most celebrated room, the Hall of Mirrors, has witnessed significant historical events, including the signing of the Treaty of Versailles, which ended World War I.
Royal Chapel and Royal Opera: Both are notable examples of late baroque architectural styles and are essential parts of the palace's tour.
The Grand Trianon: A smaller palace within the grounds of Versailles, it was used as a private retreat for the king and his intimate circle.
The Petit Trianon: Originally built for Madame de Pompadour, Louis XV's mistress, it became the private domain of Queen Marie Antoinette, who created her own gardens, a farm, and a hamlet there.
The Queen's Hamlet: A rustic retreat in the park of the Petit Trianon, it includes a collection of cottages, gardens, lakes, and farm animals. It was Marie Antoinette's escape from court life.
Royal Stables (Grand and Petit Écuries): They are magnificent examples of 18th-century French architecture and housed the royal horses and carriages.
Notre-Dame de Versailles: This cathedral, located in the heart of the Saint-Louis district, is an example of classical French religious architecture.
Market of Versailles (Marché Notre-Dame): Established by Louis XIV, this is one of the oldest and most lively places in Versailles, offering a range of local and regional products.
City History: Versailles was the de facto capital of the kingdom of France for over a century, from 1682 to 1789, before becoming the cradle of the French Revolution. Its role in French history is thus paramount.
In addition to these points, Versailles's legacy in art, culture, and politics has made it a significant symbol of the evolution of Western civilization. The city also boasts charming neighborhoods, boutiques, restaurants, and events that reflect both its grand past and its vibrant present....Read more