|Versailles what to see|

Visiting Versailles is a journey back in time to the era of kings and queens, where lavishness knew no bounds. Let’s explore the must-see within the palace walls and the enchanting gardens. Versailles Palace, located just outside Paris, is a symbol of opulence, grandeur, and history. 

History of Versailles Palace

Commissioned by King Louis XIV in the 17th century, Versailles Palace, an impressive 17th century building that covers more than 800 hectares and has 2,300 rooms, was intended to be a symbol of absolute monarchy and French power. It started as a humble hunting lodge and was transformed into a magnificent palace over the years, becoming the center of French political power and culture.

Listed as a World Heritage Site, the Palace of Versailles is one of the most important 17th century sites on the continent. What was originally the hunting ground of Louis XIII has become over the years one of the most important monarchical complexes in the West. The accession to the throne of Louis XIV and the French Revolution transformed it over time.

Visiting Inside Versailles Palace

  • Hall of Mirrors: The Hall of Mirrors is the most iconic room in Versailles, famous for its 17 mirrored arches that reflect the palace’s gardens. What had been commissioned by King Louis XIV, the Sun King, to impress his visitors became the icon of the castle. The hall has an impressive vault painted by the artist Le Brun and was used for centuries as a venue for events, balls and parties, but also for signing important treaties such as the Treaty of Versailles, which ended to the First World War.
  • King’s State Apartments: These lavish rooms were once the private chambers of the king and are adorned with intricate decorations and priceless artworks. In the king’s bedroom, the court witnessed his awakening, breakfast and bedtime every morning. You can see the bed where Louis XIV himself slept and where he perished in 1715
  • Queen’s State Apartments: Similarly adorned, the Queen’s State Apartments provide a glimpse into the luxurious lifestyle of the queen and her court.
  • Royal Chapel: A masterpiece of Baroque architecture, the Royal Chapel hosted royal weddings and religious ceremonies. Palace must have a chapel worthy of the reputation of its members for daily masses and ceremonies. The paradox of this royal chapel is that Louis XIV spent a lot of effort and money on its construction. However, it was not completed until 1710, 5 years after the monarch died
  • The Royal Opera: Built for the entertainment of the royal court, the Royal Opera is a stunning example of 18th-century theater design. The Royal Opera is a major work by the architect Ange-Jacques Gabriel. The largest performance hall in Europe when it was inaugurated in 1770 under Louis XV, it constitutes a true feat of technique and decorative refinement. Theater of monarchical and then republican life, throughout its history it has hosted festivities, shows and parliamentary debates.
  • Battle Gallery: King Louis-Philippe had the idea in 1837 of building a huge gallery in the castle to represent the great battles and exploits of the country.
  • The Salons of the Empire: The remains of a major project undertaken by Louis-Philippe to reflect the great glories of France. The eldest child of the Orléans family at the end of the Ancien Régime, he succeeded his cousin Charles , last reigning sovereign of the elder branch of the Bourbons.
  • The apartments of the daughters of Louis XV: The three daughters of Louis XV, called the “Ladies”. The sisters lived their entire lives in the castle during their father’s reign and remained unmarried throughout their lives. Discover where these three sisters lived all their lives until the French Revolution, forced to flee.
  • The Crusades Room: Made up of five small rooms, this space was commissioned by King Louis-Philippe in 1843 and was to pay homage to the Crusades.

Exploring the Gardens of Versailles

  • The gardens of Versailles are as impressive as the palace itself, covering over 800 hectares of meticulously landscaped grounds.
  • Layout and Design: Designed by landscape architect André Le Nôtre, the gardens feature symmetrical layouts, ornate fountains, and meticulously trimmed hedges.
  • Grand Canal: The Grand Canal is the centerpiece of the gardens, offering picturesque views and opportunities for boating.
  • The Orangery: Home to exotic plants and citrus trees, the Orangery is a peaceful retreat within the gardens.
  • The Grand Trianon: A smaller palace located within the grounds of Versailles, the Grand Trianon was a private retreat for the royal family.
  • The Petit Trianon: Another small palace within the estate, the Petit Trianon was favored by Queen Marie Antoinette and reflects her personal tastes in design.
  • The fountains of the gardens of Versailles
    there are some fountains that you should not forget to see during your visit, for example: the pond of Latona, the Basin of Apollo, the Basin of the Mirror, the Basin of Neptune

Visiting Versailles map PARIS BY EMY

Visiting Versailles

A visit to Versailles Palace and Gardens is a journey through French history and culture. From the extravagant interiors of the palace to the serene beauty of the gardens, Versailles offers an unforgettable experience for visitors. Plan your trip to this iconic landmark and immerse yourself in the grandeur of the past. Visiting the Palace of Versailles will probably take you all day, so you will need to take a lunch break. You should know that it is forbidden to bring food inside the castle, but Versailles has several places where you can eat such as Angelina restaurant. You will also find stalls and kiosks in the gardens where you can grab a bite to eat while enjoying the spectacular surroundings. You will also find shops at the entrance and exit of the Palace of Versailles.


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