DU Wiki > Ă„mnen - Subjects > Tourism studies > KG3012 > Seminar 1 Cultural and natural World Heritage sites > France > Palace and Park of Versailles
Palace and Park of Versailles
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Palace of Versailles and its garden is a royal symbol and historic monument located in Versailles, near Paris in France. The Palace was occupied by the kings and their court from the 16th century until the French Revolution in 1789 when the absolute monarchy has been abolished (Chateau Versailles, n.d.). Firstly a modest castle built for Louis XIII, his son Louis XIV did not cease to extend it and installed the court in it to become a huge Palace of 63 154 m² and 2 300 rooms. The aim of Louis XIV was to build a model of royal residence for European kings. Beside the Palace, Louis XIV undertook the construction of a garden and of the Trianons, which took 40 years to build. Even if the Palace lost its kings residence character after the Revolution, Versailles becomes from the 19th century the museum of French history (Chateau Versailles, n.d.).
The importance of this World Heritage site lies on the history and culture the site represents to the world. The site of Versailles is part of the UNESCO convention since 1979 and, thus, has been one of the first French world heritages to be on the list (Advisory Body Evaluation, 1979). The Palace has been under construction during more than a century and gathers the work and art of numerous French artists with sculptures, architecture, paints, different decorations, and landscape architecture which make it a “unique artistic realization” (Advisory Body Evaluation, 1979). As said previously, the aim of the king by building such a Palace was to provide to other European Kings a royal ideal. Thus, we find Versailles influence on royal palaces all around Europe as in Germany, Russia, Sweden, . (Advisory Body Evaluation, 1979; Peduzzi, 2014).
The managerial challenge is, in this case, financial. As Aas, Ladkin and Fletcher (2005) noticed, World Heritage sites invovle many challenges in the managment of these one. Being an important site by its size and by its number of visitors, the palace and the park ask a continuous maintnance all the year round and thus, invovles a lot a money. To face the important costs that occure to renovate the Palace and maintain the gardens, Versailles find a help in sponsorships (companies, organisations and privates). In 1999, numerous trees dating from the kings century have been destroyed by a storm. A campaign called "10 000 trees for Versailles" have been leaded and enabled to reorganize the gardens. After the success of this campaign, other one have been run for the whole domain. Sponsoring represent nowadays 20% of the financial ressources. The 80% rest are financed by the French cultural ministry. However, the renovation cost has never been a reson to break the cultural offer and Versailles still gives to the visitors an affordable cultural experience to 4 millions visitors per year. (Peduzzi, 2014, Guénot, 2012)
GUÉNOT H. (2012) Revolutions au château de Versailles. Le Journal Du Dimanche. [Online] Available in: http://www.lejdd.fr/ [Accessed 13/11/2014]
AAS, C., LADKIN, A. and FLETCHER, J. (2005) Stakeholder collaboration and heritage management. Annals of Tourism Research, Vol. 32, No. 1, pp. 28–48.
UNESCO (1979) Advisory Body Evaluation [Online]. Available in: http://whc.unesco.org/archive/advisory_body_evaluation/83bis.pdf [ Accessed 12.11.2014]
UNESCO (1979-2014) Palace and Park of Versailles. [Online]. Available in: http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/83 [Accessed 12.11.2014]
PEDUZZI, L. (2014) Own experience and knowledge of the site. [Reviewed 12.11.2014] student/French citizen, firstname.lastname@example.org
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