The etymology of the name Versailles comes from the Latin versare, meaning “to keep turning over and over”, an expression used in medieval times for plowed and cleared lands.
This meaning is very appropriate considering the Gardens of Versailles cover 800 hectares of land with much of them being forests.
It is no wonder that the Chateau and Gardens of Versailles are a UNESCO protected world site. Even the famous French clothing designer Christian Dior drew great inspiration from the design of the Chateau during the 1950’s. It is absolutely spectacular! It is hard to imagine human beings living in such grandiose opulence.
Yet despite the immense size of the Chateau, there really were not many truly private areas for the royals that lived there, as much of the building was considered belonging to the government and the people.
Which makes me think of the Gardens and their forests. Did any royals look longingly out of a palace window beyond the manicured gardens towards the woods remembering a hushed embrace? What diabolical plots were hatched while hiding amongst the trees? How many secrets do those forests contain?
We will never know. For now all we can do is breathe in the fresh air, admire the beauty and let the magic of Versailles carry us away.