As a member of AMRAE, the French risk management association, FERMA Vice PresidentMichel Denneryis delighted to welcome members to one of France’s most celebrated sites, Versailles. The name Versailles is associated with a glittering royal palace with its Hall of Mirrors; many visitors do not realise that the city with its lovely avenues lined with magnificent plane trees was designed at the same time as a sumptuous setting for the palace.
Louis XIV, known as the Sun King, took what had been a modest royal hunting large, enlarged it for pleasure and had the grounds transformed. He settled there with his entire court in 1682, and this large, new population inevitably required a substantial infrastructure. Despite this royal grandeur, the municipality created in 1787 succeeded in preserving Versailles’ heritage from destruction during the Revolution and after.
Today the city remains an oasis. It boasts 167m2 of green space per inhabitant in the grounds of the palace, the squares of the town and extensive forests around the city. Yet it is only 12km from Paris and is easy to reach thanks to three auto routes and five ways to get the train from the capital.
This is France, so stunning visual pleasures combine with those designed for the inner risk manager. The city has more than 60 restaurants, including five with Michelin stars within 8km of the centre.
The court of the Sun King at Versailles was known as La Cour des Senteurs or Court of Scents because of its extensive use perfumes. To mark this history the Mayor has decided to create a new Cour des Senteurs which will be located near the Palais des Congrès where FERMA will hold the seminar. Dedicated to the fragrances and to the rare essences, the Cour des Senteurs is due to open for the spring of 2013.