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.