Thursday, December 11, 2008

Paris Surroundings - Versailles and Saint Michel


Paris is a fascinating city. The French capital has captivated generation after generation, both old and young people. Who does not know its most famous monuments? The Eiffel Tower is a worldwide symbol; the Notre Dame Cathedral holds one of the most world famous legends thanks to Victor Hugo's novel, "The Hunchback of Notre Dame"; the Louvre Museum is one of the most famous and important in the world ... Probably you'll need more than a week to know in depth all its charms. But the Parisian surroundings are also noteworthy, especially Versailles and Saint Michel Mont.

Versailles

Just thirty minutes from Paris you'll find the city of Versailles. It is famous for hosting the splendid and spectacular Versailles Palace. This elegant city is placed so near to Paris, that we could almost confuse them. Versailles is a beautiful city with a traditional bourgeois taste. It is full of great avenues, historic buildings, antiques and art. The Saint Louis neighbourhood is the historic centre: its streets have been preserved since the eighteenth century. The French Revolution began and developed in Versailles. In addition, the famous Treaty of Versailles was signed here, which effectively ended the First World War.

The Versailles Palace is the main symbol of the city and of the French kings' absolutist power, especially of Louis XIV. Initially, the Versailles Chateau was a simple country house built by Louis XIII. The, Louis XIV ordered the transformation of the house into a spectacular palace. With that he provided a wonderful legacy such as the Hall of Mirrors, the Chapel, the Opera, the Peace and War Halls, the king and the Queen Rooms and the Queen Chamber, which has been conserved just as Maria Antoinette left it when she abandoned Versailles in 1789. Also the Palace gardens are a real treasure with perfect symmetry, floral designs, ponds and fountains spread everywhere.

The Saint Michel Mont

The Saint Michel Mont is one of the most visited monuments in France together with the Eiffel Tower, the Notre Dame Cathedral or the Sacre Coeur. It is considered World Heritage by the UNESCO since 1979. This mount is an island joined to the continent by a road. There raises a beautiful abbey with Gothic and Romanesque elements. It was built in the seventh century, when St. Michael archangel appeared to Abbott bishop. The abbey has been one of the most important pilgrimage places in France.

Once on the road, the view of the island is a great spectacle, especially if the tide is low and the sides of the Mount turn into giant lakes of mud and quicksand. Thus this place is unique and magical. Once we are inside of the citadel, we go back to the past due to its labyrinthine streets, which are preserved as they were centuries ago.

After having visited two of the most beautiful enclaves of the Parisian surroundings, you will want to rest and to relax. And the best way to do it is renting Paris Apartments. Stay in an apartment and enjoy all the comforts and facilities it offers.

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