On Sunday, we planned on visiting Versailles then leaving from there to drive home. Going inside was expensive and we got there later than anticipated and the line was crazy long but the gardens were cheaper and had no line. We learned about the gardens of Versailles in class and I think we all had pretty high expectations for what they would be like. In my honest opinion, I thought they would seem grander. But these gardens were also designed mostly for looking at from a distance and not walking through. The level of detail was maybe less than I had expected but also exactly what I thought it would be like.
Here is the entrance to the palace.
Around the side was the gardens entrance. The gardens were all about having complete control over nature. Shrubs are trimmed to make geometric designs and shapes.
Here, you can kind of see the “axis to infinity” which was a symbol of power in the sense that it looked like the king’s domain stretched on forever (it didn’t).
Sometimes being a landscape architecture student stinks because instead of just appreciating the grandeur of this place, I think “Wow what an extravagant waste of space” and “It wouldn’t hurt to add a little more plant diversity”. I know, I know, that’s rude to say about such a famous attraction. Anyway, branching off from the sides of this main axis was a maze of hedges that led to different spaces with statues and fountains.
There were fountains everywhere but none were running. Probably because when they were built, they had to divert an entire river to make them run since (I think) the grounds were actually up hill from the nearest water source. When Louis XIV strolled through the gardens, servants would follow him and turned the fountains on as he passed and turned them off when he left because it wasn’t actually possible to keep them all running at once but still needed to create the illusion that they were always running. Pretty funny, I think.