Saturday, November 15, 2008
(Above: This Igorot blogger amidst the thousands of fountains at the Château de Versailles)
I visited France more than a dozen times between 2001 and 2004. It was on business trips for a client which was the leader mondial de la distribution de matériel électrique (leading distributor worldwide of electrical supplies). I was the European IT application manager of their warehouse system, and I was bouncing around France, Portugal, Germany, and the UK.
One of my favorite tourist stops was Versailles, the former center of power for the kingdom of France. It is located in the western suburbs of Paris and to this day remains an important administrative and judicial center. This city is world-famous because of the Château de Versailles (Palace of Versailles). It is the biggest palace in Europe designed and built in the 17th century. Abandoned after the French revolution, the palace has undergone a series of re-construction funded by the French government and American foundations. It has been identified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The fountains and the gardens are my favorites. It would take more than a couple of days to fully tour and enjoy the grounds. My second visit to the palace was with high school friends and it was during late spring - a perfect time to fully enjoy the place as the flowers and trees are in full bloom. We saw plenty of families having picnics and going on bicycle rides.
Sharing some of the pictures from that visit:
Entrance to the château, with a statue of the Sun King… King Louie XIV
The Grand Trianon, a pink marble mansion where the king once dallied with sweet young ladies (not his wife) provides a beautiful photo opportunity for this French couple
A well trimmed garden near an artificial lake.
The flowers are all in full bloom on the right wing of the chateau.
No better way to enjoy a day of sightseeing than settling down to enjoy superb French cooking.