• Gardens at Château de Versailles, France
    The Gardens at Versailles

Versailles

Every king's dream, Versailles was the residence of French monarchs and the cultural heartbeat of Europe for about 100 years — until the Revolution of 1789 changed all that. In 1837, about 50 years after the royal family was evicted by citizen-protesters, King Louis-Philippe opened the palace as a museum. Today you can visit parts of the huge palace and wander through acres of manicured gardens sprinkled with fountains and studded with statues. Europe's next-best palaces are just Versailles wannabes.