As part of le domaine national de Versailles et de Trianon, an autonomous public entity operating under the aegis of the French Ministry of Culture, the gardens are now one of the most visited public sites in France, receiving more than six million visitors a year.
In addition to the meticulous manicured lawns, parterres of flowers, and sculptures are the fountains, which are located throughout the garden. Dating from the time of Louis XIV and still using much of the same network of hydraulics as was used during the Ancien Régime, the fountains contribute to making the gardens of Versailles unique. On weekends from late spring to early autumn, the administration of the museum sponsors the Grandes Eaux – spectacles during which all the fountains in the gardens are in full play. Designed by Andre Le Notre, the Grand Canal is the masterpiece of the Gardens of Versailles. In the Gardens too, the Grand Trianon was built to provide Sun King with the retreat he wanted. Le Petit Trianon is associated with Marie-Antoinette who spent there many weeks with her closest relatives and friends.
In 1979, the gardens along with the château were inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List, one of thirty-one such designations in France.