Gardens at Versailles

I visit the Château de Versailles every time I travel to Paris – both destinations are close to my heart, and as a long-standing member of Les Amis de Versailles, I also “own” a tree in the Trianon Gardens.  The newly decorated RER train (photos here) provides a beautiful first glance for newcomers to the castle.

The Gardens of Versailles occupy part of what was once the Domaine royal de Versailles, the Château of Versailles.  The gardens cover some 1760 acres/800 hectares (see below statistics)

In French:

Size: 800 ha.
Number of trees: 200,000
Flowers planted annually: 210,000
Number of fountains: 50
Number of jets of water: 620
Surface area of the Grand Canal: 23 ha.
Perimeter of the Grand Canal: 5.57 km
Amount of piping to feed the fountains: 35 km.
Amount of water consumed by the fountains
during the ‘‘Grandes Eaux’’:
3,600 m3
Source: Wikipedia/Official site of the Château de Versailles

Fairies of the Forest: A Royal Ballet

Seeing that the Le Ballet des Fees de la Foret de Saint-Germain was being held at the Versailles Royal Opera during my recent trip to the area, I thought it might be fun to attend and watch a little classic ballet (read Baryshnikov).  I love baroque style decor, and this is the place where Queen Marie Antoinette performed – I was very excited!

The Opera was dimly lit and bigger than I imagined, although not huge, as I was escorted to my ground floor seat.

Stage curtain

The orchestra music began, with works right out of the time of Louis XIV and Molière, and I felt transported back in time.  The cast acted out a theatrical play, including Cirque de Soleil-type acrobatics and entertaining feats. What an absolutely delightful surprise – it was so well done and truly entertaining! (videos below)

Video clips: