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Subaquatic vegetation in the Loire river near Digoin, Saône-et-Loire, France (46°27’ N, 3°59’ E). Training arena in the hippodrome of Maisons-Laffite, Yvelines, France (48°57’ N, 2°10’ E). Nature reserve, Arguin bank, Gironde, France (44°39’N, 1°15’W).
Agricultural landscape near Cognac, Charente, France (45°42’ N,  0°13’ W).Gardens at the Château of Vaux-le-Vicomte, Seine et Marne, France (48°34Oyster beds near Marennes, Charente-Maritime, France (45°49’N, 1°06’W).
House in Keremma, on the Kernic cove at low tide, Finistère France (48°39Gardens of the Château de Villandry, Indre-et-Loire Department, France (47°20’N, 0°30’E).The Puy de Dôme, Auvergne volcano range, Puy-de-Dôme, France (45°47’N, 2°57’E).
The largest plant maze in the world, at Reignac-sur-Indre, Indre-et-Loire Department, France (47°13Pyramid of the Louvre, Paris, France (48°52’N, 2°20’E).Detail of the Gallo-Roman ruins at Pontchartrain, Yvelines Department, France (48°48N, 1°54’E).
American cemetery north of Verdun, Meuse, France (49°09’N, 5°23’E).Palace of Versailles at sunset, Yvelines, France (48°48’N, 2°07’E).Saint-Laurent-Nouan electronuclear power station, Loir-et-Cher, France (47°42
Scrap yard, Saint-Brieuc, Côtes-dFishermen’s huts near Talmont-sur-Gironde, Charente-Maritime Department, France (45°35’N, 0°54’W).Palace of Versailles, Yvelines, France (48°48
Deoiling basin at a water purification centre, Marne, France (49°00’ N, 4°20’ E). Trees brought down by the storm in the Vosges forest, France (48°39Roped party of mountaineers climbing Mont Blanc, Haute-Savoie, France (45°50’ N, 6°53’ E).
Algae in the gulf of Morbihan, France (47°55’N, 2°50’W).Landscape of brightly colored fields near Sarraud, Vaucluse, France (44°01’N, 5°24’E).Naturists of the center of Arnaoutchot, Landes, France (43°55’N, 1°22’W).
Vallée Blanche glacier at the foot of the Aiguille du Midi, Mont-Blanc Massif, Haute-Savoie, France (45°55Buren’s Columns, the Palais-Royal, Paris, France (48°51’N, 2°21’E).National Military Cemetery of Notre Dame de Lorette, near Ablain-Saint-Nazaire, Pas-de-Calais, France (50°23’N, 02°42’E).




Palace of Versailles at sunset, Yvelines, France (48°48’N, 2°07’E).

In 1661 King Louis XIV of France selected the swampy site of Versailles, near Paris, for the construction of a palace that would take fifty years of labor. Erected in the heart of a plot of 2,000 acres, set off by sumptuous gardens, 34 pools, and 620 fountains, the château covers a surface area of 550,000 square feet (51,000 m2). For more than a century it was home to approximately 1,000 nobles and 4,000 servants, before it was pillaged during the French Revolution in 1789 and abandoned. Beginning at the end of the nineteenth century, it was gradually restored and refurnished, thanks in particular to gifts from 400 patrons and state subsidies. Declared a world heritage site by UNESCO in 1979, Versailles is now largely restored. The sixth most popular French tourist site, it receives more than 3.6 million visitors every year (compared to 12 million for the Disneyland Paris theme park), and helps keep France the most popular world tourist destination (receiving 76 million foreign visitors in 2005).

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