Composed of eight departments centered on Paris, the Île-de-France contains the magnificent Château de Fontainebleau, situated 42 miles southeast of the capital. A castle has been here since circa 1137, and the current structure dates to 1528, during the reign of Francis I. The celebrated André Le Nôtre planned the gardens. About 10 miles west of Paris stands the immense Château de Versailles; its Galerie des Glaces, the historic Hall of Mirrors, is one of the iconic sights of France. Visit near closing time to avoid the densest crowds.

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