Program > Social events

WELCOME RECEPTION

The welcome reception (and registration) will take place on Sunday evening (5 pm -9 pm) at the King's Kitchen Garden (Potager du Roi10 rue du maréchal Joffre, 78 000 Versailles, MAP).

A cocktail will be offered from 5 to 9 pm. During the welcome, a visit of this garden is proposed (several tours starting at 6 pm and after, end at 7 pm). You will be guided through the garden for 30 minutes. The historical aspect of the use of organic residues in agriculture will be shown.

King's Kitchen Garden, covering 9 hectares, is at the very heart of the historical centre of Versailles, within minutes by foot from the Palace itself and the Pièce d'Eau des Suisses. Louis XIV asked J.-B. de La Quintinye, the gardener, to install a kitchen garden capable of providing for the court in a marsh with the evocative name of "étang puant" (stinking pond). Work was carried out efficiently between 1678 and 1682: in spite of the poor terrain and still rudimentary resources, La Quintinye developed the culture of fresh fruit and vegetables here and was able to provide the king's table with asparagus in January and strawberries in March, along with figs and even melons! It measures 9 hectares and maintains its original subdivisions, earning it classification as a Historical Monument in 1926. Its fruit trees, for their part, have been given extremely varied shapes, thanks to the presence of the Ecole Nationale d’Horticulture between 1873 and 1995, whose know-how carries on today, to the visual and gustatory delight of its visitors… Students of the Ecole Nationale Supérieure du Paysage (National School of Landscape Architecture) now work in the areas bordering the kitchen garden.

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 EXCURSION

The excursion on Wednesday afternoon at Versailles will include the four following tours (1:45 pm - 6:00 pm). A bus transfer will exist between the conference venue and the excursion locations.

  • Guided tour of the Royal Tennis Court 'Salle du Jeu de Paume' (45 min):  This gymnasium built for the court of Louis XIV is famous for the oath pronounced by a group of deputies of the “Etats Généraux”, June 20, 1789. This was the founding act of democracy. The hall now houses a museum on the characters and revolutionary events that took place in Versailles.
  • Guided tour of the Saint-Louis district (45min):   Built on the site of the former "parc aux cerfs" of Louis XIII, the Saint-Louis district is today one of the historical centers of the city of Versailles. Developed in checkerboard around its magnificent cathedral, it is also remarkable for its "squares", formed of small barracks with mansard roofs, typical in the eighteenth century.
  • Guided tour of the Grand Apartments of the Palace of Versailles (1h15):  Discover the apartments of the King, in which sumptuous gold and marble harmonize. Measuring 73 meters long, 10.5 meters wide and 12.3 meters high, the Hall of Mirrors with its 17 windows and 357 mirrors will leave you stunned. It is the absolute symbol of the French monarchy and shows the incredible skill of the craftsmen and painters who made it unique in the world.
  • Guided tour of the French gardens of the Palace of Versailles (1h):  Designed by André Le Nôtre for Louis XIV, the gardens of the Versailles became the model of the regular garden "à la française". Their well-designed layout, characterized by their symmetry and their great perspective, is reinforced by the multitude of sculptures that make it one of the richest and prestigious open-air museums of the world.

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 BANQUET

The conference's banquet will be on Thursday evening (7 pm - 11 pm) at the Hôtel de France venue (Hôtel de France5 Rue Colbert, 78000 Versailles, MAP).

Opposite Château de Versailles, hiding in the shade of the lime-trees lining the street, is Colbert de Villacerf’s elegant and peaceful private residence. In this fabulous historical setting, the Hotel de France offers you its reception rooms and bedrooms decorated with charm and passion, in harmony with the surrounding ambiance.

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