What began in 1623 by Louis XIII, Versailles housed several royal families and became a symbol of the system of absolute monarchy of the Old Regime. Located about 10 miles southwest of Paris, Versailles contains 50 fountains, over 200,000 trees and 210,000 flowers planted annually.

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The vast gardens and palace can be best described as impressive –

“Versailles is a mirage, a sumptuous and theatrical entertainment. It is also a manifestation of glory and power imposed to a great extent by art, luxury, and magnificence,” writes Valérie Bajou, a modern-day curator at Versailles, in her book “Versailles” (Abrams, 2012).

After the outbreak of the French Revolution in 1789, King Louis XVI and Queen Marie Antoinette would be stripped of his powers, brought to Paris and ultimately beheaded, the palace falling under the control of the new republican government.

For more information see: http://en.chateauversailles.fr/history-

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