The town of Versailles sits about 20 kilometers outside of Paris. Louis XIII’s former hunting lodge was transformed and extended at his son’s request, to house the seat of the royal court and the French government. The project presented the absolute power of the French monarchy, which was then at the height of its glory. The palace is surrounded by equally grand gardens overflowing with flowers, neatly trimmed hedges, statuary and fountains. At 100 hectare, the garden of the Versailles Palace is Europe\’s largest palace garden. It was created in the 17th century by landscape gardener André Le Nôtre. The Chateau de Versailles is generally open Tuesdays through Sundays.
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Peterhof is an amazing symbol of Peter the Great and Russian baroque garden inspired by Versailles and designed by a pupil of Le Notre. Peterhof is comprised of several different areas and buildings including the Grand Peterhof Palace, the Upper Gardens, the Lower Gardens, along with several pavilions and museums. Fountains are a major attraction of the parks of Petrodvorets (former Peterhof). They render festive splendour and brilliance to the whole of the Peterhof ensemble, a unique monument to the victory in the Northern War which turned Russia into a strong maritime power.
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