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The 40-Year Garden: The Making of 1,976 Acres of Versailles

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With its 1,250 chimneys, 67 staircases, and 700 rooms, it's no shock that the Palace of Versailles has become for many aspiring kings a siren, of sorts: so many have tried, and so many have failed, to replicate its size, stature, and extravagant interiors. Because let's face it: Versailles, located about 15 miles southwest of Paris, is one of the finest former royal residences on the planet and what many consider an unmatchable example of French Baroque architecture. Its gardens, too, designed and laid out in the 1660s, may never be surpassed by modern mortals. As the author Mark Twain, who visited Versailles in 1869, wrote, "You gaze and stare and try to understand that it is real, that it is on the earth, that it is not the Garden of Eden—but your brain grows giddy, stupefied by the world of beauty around you, and you half believe you are the dupe of an exquisite dream." Below, break down "Eden" with some earthly stats:

—Infographic by Suze Myers

· All Versailles coverage [Curbed National]
· All Outdoors Week 2014 posts [Curbed National]