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Discretely situated in the 5th Arrondissement, these Roman ruins are easy to miss. They're a great place to come, however, if you're looking for a bit of greenery and a breath of fresh air in a friendly neighborhood setting. The ruins were first unearthed in 1869, and have since been excavated and landscaped. Parts of the Roman amphitheater are clearly visible: a testament to the Romans who founded the city of Lutetia, as Paris was first called. On weekends, expect to find families and loads of children running around. Or bring a book and a sandwich on a sunny weekday, and enjoy the peace and quiet.
La Ménagerie du Jardin des Plantes comprises the Jardin Des Plants' zoological display area, continually operating since its construction in 1794. The lengthy history of one of the world's oldest zoos is reflected in the architectural styles of animal enclosures. Small log cabins are still used to house the more diminutive animal displays while newer additions such as the aviary (inspired by Marie Antoinette's farm displays and constructed 1888) and the vivarium (1926) trace a legacy from Beaux Arts to deco. The sheer amount of animals on display here, clocking in around 1800, is impressive enough, only augmented by the fact that 30 percent of the menagerie consists of near-extinct species. A site of inspiration and conservation, this zoological treasure relies on ticket sales to help acclimate endangered animals and return them to their natural habitats.
Situated to the west of the historic Palace of Versailles, Les Jardins de Versailles is a magnificent garden created by André Le Nôtre for Louis XIII. The beautiful landscaped garden is set in a geometric motif of paths, bushes, flowerbeds, sculptures and trees. In addition to these, the fountains radiate the opulence of that era and were set up to enthrall the royal guests. All the artworks such as the statues and fountains are creations of some of the great artists such as Charles Le Brun, Louis Le Vau and André Le Nôtre. Recorded as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Les Jardins de Versailles will bewitch you with its beauty.