It’s been a year of palaces. First the Royal Palace in Madrid, then the Granja, or Summer Palace near Segovia in Spain and, finally, Versailles in France. We took the train from Paris to the town of Versailles and then walked from the train station to the Chateau de Versailles.
Sofia Copolla’s film Marie Antoinette provided me with a fantastic sneak preview of Versailles, both the palace and the gardens. Still, I felt light-headed the first time I looked out over the classic French Gardens which cover more than 800 hectares of land. The fountain below is called the Bassin de Latone.
Le Bassin de Latone depicts a scene from Ovid’s Metamorphoses in which Latona and her children, Apollo and Diana, are tormented by Lycian peasants who sling mud at them and refuse to let them drink from their pond. Latona appeals to Zeus who responds by turning the Lycians into frogs. Lovely golden frogs.
The Apollo Fountain, built between 1668 and 1671, depicts the sun god driving his chariot to light the sky. The fountain serves as a transitional element between the gardens of the Petit Parc and the Grand Canal.
Where are your favourite gardens?