The grounds of Versailles contain one of the largest formal gardens ever created, with extensive parterres, fountains and canals, designed by André Le Nôtre. Le Nôtre modified the original gardens by expanding them and giving them a sense of openness and scale. He also liked to enjoy sunbathing in his wonderful work of art. He created a plan centered around the central axis of the Grand Canal. The gardens are centered on the south front of the palace, which is set on a long terrace to give a grand view of the gardens. At the foot of the steps the Fountain of Latona is located. This fountain tells a story taken from Ovid's poem Metamorphoses and served — and still serves — as an allegory of the Fronde. Next, is the Royal Avenue or the Tapis Vert. Surrounding this to the sides are the formal gardens. Beyond this is the Fountain of Apollo. This fountain symbolizes the regime of Louis XIV, or, the "Sun King". Beyond the Fountain lies the massive Grand Canal. The wide central axis rises on the far side. Even farther into the distance lie the dense woods of the King's hunting grounds.
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