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Tourist Attractions In France


Palace Of Versailles The palace of Versailles was the principal royal residence of France from 1682 under Louis XIV until the start of the French Revolution in 1789 under Louis XVI. It is located in the department of Yvelines, in the region of Île-de-France, about 20 kilometres (12 miles) southwest of the centre of Paris. The palace is now a Monument historique and UNESCO World Heritage site, notable especially for the ceremonial Hall of Mirrors, the jewel-like Royal Opera, and the royal apartments; for the more intimate royal residences, the Grand Trianon and Petit Trianon located within the park; the small rustic Hameau (Hamlet) created for Marie Antoinette; and the vast Gardens of Versailles with fountains, canals, and geometric flower beds and groves, laid out by André le Nôtre. The Palace was stripped of all its furnishings after the French

Revolution, but many pieces have been returned and many of the palace rooms have been restored.

The palace of Louis XIV Louis XIV first visited the château on a hunting trip in 1651 at the age of twelve, but returned only oc-casionally until his marriage to Maria Theresa of Spain in 1660 and the death of Cardinal Mazarin in 1661, after which he suddenly acquired a passion for the site. He decided to rebuild, embellish and enlarge the châ eau and to transform it into a setting for both rest and for elaborate entertainments on a grand scale.

The first phase of the expansion (c. 1661–1678) was designed and supervised by the architect Louis Le Vau. Initially he added two wings to the forecourt, one for servants quarters and kitchens, the other for stables. In 1668 he added three new wings built of stone, known as the envelope, to the north, south and west (the garden side) of the original château. These buildings had nearly-flat roofs covered with lead. The king also commissioned the landscape de signer André Le Nôtre to create the most magnificent gardens in Europe, embellished with fountains, statues, basins, canals, geometric flower beds and grovesof trees.


Louis XIV Also known as Louis the Great (Louis le Grand) or the Sun King (Roi Soleil), was a monarch of the House of Bourbon who reigned as King of France from 1643 until his death in 1715. Starting on 14 May 1643 when Louis was 4 years old, his reign of 72 years and 110 days is the longest recorded of any monarch of a sovereign country in European history. In the age of absolutism in Europe, Louis XIV’s France was a leader in the growing centralisation of power. Louis began his personal rule of France in 1661, after the death of his chief minister, the Italian Cardinal Mazarin. An adherent of the concept of the divine right of kings, which advocates the divine origin of monarchical rule, Louis continued his predecessors’ work of

Versailles, succeeded in pacifying the aristocracy, many members of which had participated in the Fronde rebellion during Louis’ minority. By these means he became one of the most powerful French monarchs and consolidated a system of absolute monarchical rule in France that endured until the French Revolution. Louis encouraged and benefited from the work of prominent political, military, and cultural figures such as Mazarin, Colbert, Louvois, the Grand Condé, Turenne, Sébastien Le Prestre de Vauban, André Charles Boulle, Molière, Racine, Boileau, La Fontaine, Lully, Marais, Le Brun, Rigaud, Bossuet, Le Vau, Mansart, Charles, Claude Perrault, and Le Nôtre. Under his rule, the Edict

tant minority. During Louis’ reign, France was the leading European power, and it fought three major wars: the Franco-Dutch War, the War of the League of Augsburg, and the War of the Spanish Succession. There were also two lesser conflicts: the War of Devolution and the War of the Reunions. Warfare defined the foreign policy of Louis XIV, and his personality shaped his approach. Impelled “by a mix of commerce, revenge, and pique”, Louis sensed that warfare was the ideal way to enhance his glory. In peacetime he concentrated on preparing for the next war. He taught his diplomats that their job was to create tactical and strategic advantages for the French military.


Monet’s Gardens

The Fondation Claude Monet is a nonprofit organisation that runs and preserves the house and gardens of Claude Monet in Giverny, France. With a total of 530,000 visitors in 2010, it is the second most visited tourist site in Normandy after the Mont Saint-Michel.The House and Garden have been recognised as a “Maison des Illustres” and “Jardin remarquable” rewarding their outstanding qualities. The estate was classified as a Monument historique in 1976.

Monet’s House On entering Monet’s house, the visitor should imagine a home filled with the noisy cavalcade of eight children, Claude Monet’s comings and goings between his studio and the garden, the atmosphere of the kitchen in the early morning when vegetables came fresh from the kitchen-garden, plus the returns from market and arrival of friends from Paris. The visit begins with the ‘reading room’, also called he ‘little blue sitting room’,

which communicates with the pantry where tea, olive oil, spices and eggs were stored in wall cabinets… One then enters the artist’s first studio, in which he worked until 1899. This room later became a cosy sitting room, where coffee was served, comfortably installed in English-style cane chairs and surrounded by familiar objects, photographs and the Master’s paintings.


Rouen Cathedral History A church was already present at the location in the late 4th century, and eventually a cathedral was established in Rouen as in Poitiers. It was enlarged by St. Ouen in 650, and visited by Charlemagne in 769. All the buildings perished during a Viking raid in the 9th century. The Viking leader, Rollo, founder of the Duchy of Normandy, was baptised here in 915 and buried in 932. His grandson, Richard I, further enlarged it in 950. St. Romain’s tower was built in 1035. The buildings of Archbishop Robert II were consecrated in 1065.

The cathedral was struck by lightning in 1110. Construction on the current building began in the 12th century in Early Gothic style for Saint Romain’s tower, front side porches and part of the nave. The cathedral was burnt in 1200. Others were built in High Gothic style for the mainworks nave, transept, choir and irst floor of the lantern tower in the 13th century; side chapels, lady chapel and side doorways in the 14th century. Some windows are still decorated with stained glass of the 13th century, famous because of a special cobalt blue colour, known as “the blue from Chartres”. The north transept end commenced in 1280. The cathe

ral was again struck by lightning in 1284. In 1302, the old Lady chapel was taken down and the new Lady chapel was built in 1360. The spire was blown down in 1353, choir windows were enlarged in 1430, the upper storey of the north-west tower was added in 1477, gable of the north transept built in 1478. Some more parts were built in Late (Flamboyant) Gothic style, these include the last storey of Saint Romain’s Tower (15th century), the Butter Tower, main porch of the front and the two storeys of the lantern tower (16th century). Construction of the south-west tower began in 1485 and was finished in 1507. The


The Butter Tower was erected in the early 16th century. Butter was banned during Lent and those who did not wish to forgo this indulgence would donate monies of six deniers Tournois from each diocesan for this permission. The realization of the Butter Tower caused disturbances in the faรงade, which caused the reconstruction of the central portal and the west front, which begun in 1509 and finished in 1530. The original Gothic spire suffered a fire in 1514, nevertheless the project of a stone spire was denied and a wooden construction covered with gold-plated lead was begun in 1515, a parapet was added in 1580. stone spire was denied and a wooden construction covered with gold-plated lead was begun in 1515, a para pet was added in 1580.


final version of France attractions 9:33 14 . 9 . 18  
final version of France attractions 9:33 14 . 9 . 18  
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