With over 2,000 rooms, the Chateau de Versailles was built to entertain as many courtisans as possible. On any given day, over 20,000 people could be walking the grounds around the palace, and Louis XIV quickly realized that he needed a place to go to escape from Versailles! In 1687, the Grand Trianon was built for the king and his immediate family. Although it is much smaller than the palace, it is just as elegant. Then, in 1768, the Petit Trianon was added under Louis XV. It was meant to be a gift to the king's favorite, Madame de Pompadour; however, she died before its completion and instead it was offered to Marie-Antoinette by Louis XVI. Marie-Antoinette loved this "little country house", near which the "Queen's hamlet" was built in 1783. The hamlet was basically a small country village, complete with a farm where Marie-Antoinette would milk her cows and enjoy the quiet country life with her children.
As much as I liked visiting the Chateau de Versailles, I think I had an even better time walking around the gardens and visiting the other buildings spread throughout the park. It gets very crowded in the palace, so it's quite nice to escape to other parts of the estate (I guess I can understand Louis XIV's desire of leaving Versailles behind once in a while!). There are a few snack bars in the gardens where you can buy a baguette at a fairly reasonable price considering where you are, and nothing beats lying down by the Grand Canal after walking throughout the gardens. If you don't feel like walking it's possible to rent bikes, hop on the little train, or even rent a paddle boat to go on the canal, but all of these are rather expensive. So just make sure to wear comfortable walking shoes and you're good to go!
As much the Castle is imposing, as much the Grand Trianon is a gem of architectural elegance. The choice of this retreat at the end of the Park of Versailles by Louis XIV and the choice of the architect Jules Hardouin-Mansart for its erection in 1687-1688 in a Italian style was a great success so that the Grand Dauphin, the Queen Marie Leszczinska, Napoleon I, King Louis-Philippe staid there and that finally the General de Gaulle decided to restore it in 1962-1965.
The Palace of the Grand Trianon consists of two buildings on ground floor, covered wit a flat roof with balustrade. The two wings are connected by a peristyle adorned with pink marble columns. The sight on the flowered gardens is beautiful.
Inside the mural decoration of the time of Louis XIV was restored. The furniture is in the style of the time of Napoleon I.
I felt quite pleased with my visit here. The Grand Trianon is much calmer than the castle itself. In sunny weather it is a very nice promenade distant for thirty minutes on foot.
The Château de Versailles is one of the largest castles in the world .The Chateau de Versailles has ... more than 2,000 windows, 700 rooms, 1250 fireplaces, 67 staircases and more than 1,800 acres of park. The paintings, tapestries , sculptures ,furniture of this fabulous castle , have been executed by the best Italian and French artists of the time .
In 1623, King Louis XIII - father of Louis XIV , the Sun King , built a hunting lodge, a little château. The king liked so much this little castle in the middle of such a good hunting park, that he soon had it enlarged. From 1661 the young King Louis XIV had his architects embellish the early Versailles castle. There was built a second building enveloping the old Versailles castle with new even style stone façades. In 1682, the Château de Versailles became the official residence of the Sun King and his Court , replacing the Louvre and Saint-Germain Castles.When the king moved into the Versailles castle, he insisted that the castle was for the people, and that his home be open to one and all.
Versailles ' fabulous gardens and park are almost as spectacular as the castle. Le Nôtre designed this Versailles garden including fountains, jets, waterfalls, statues, water parterres, formal gardens, Grand Perspective and Grand Canal, to set off the Castle's architecture ...
This place of absolute wealth and luxury is totaly worth visiting. You probably will have to que a long way before you can enter, but your patience will be rewarded. Absolutly fabulous....
The Chateau is open from Tuesday to Sunday.
May-September 9 a.m. - 6.30 p.m.
Ocotber-April 9a.m. - 5.30p.m.
The parc and the gardens open every day except in bad weather from 7 a.m. in summer, 8 a.m. in winter, until sunset (between 5.30 p.m. and 9.30 p.m. depending on the season)
If after a few days in Paris, you are ready to leave the city for a quick day trip, Versailles is a good option. Just take a 30-minute ride on the RER train, Line C, to Versailles Rive Gauche Station, the last stop on the line. This station brings you within just blocks of the famous Chateau of Versailles and the Hotel de Ville.
The Chateau is the major tourist draw in Versailles. The original hunting chateau was completed in 1624, and after some expansion, it became the official residence of the King in 1682, moving from the Louvre in Paris. The Royal family remained in residence here, constantly building additions and upgrades, until the French Revolution. In 1837, the Chateau became a museum dedicated to displaying French history.
Also worth seeing are the gardens, the park, and the Grand Trianon.
The Chateau is open Tuesday - Sunday, 9 am until 6:30pm in the summer and 5:30pm in the winter. The fee is 7.50 Euros. Visitors may request a guided tour or tour on their own.
It is by entrance of the "Cour Royale" to the northern wing with the 17th c. galleries that the traditional visit of the castle of Versailles starts. The visit begins at the ground floor with a succession of decorated rooms and continues on the first floor.
On crowded days (4 million visitors/year) the visit is rather chaotic because the thousands of visitors pass from one room to another by relatively narrow doors. Moreover groups listening to the explanations of their guides slow down the visitors flow.
If you are interested by the furniture, the decoration, the paintings of this part of the castle it is better to come in low season i.e. in winter.
The nicest and spectacular part of this northern wing is in my opinion the Royal Chapel which can only bee seen from the entrance or inside on special guided visits.
Louis XIV created this Palace in 1661 and what a splendid job he did too. Many additions and building campaigns have been added over the decades however.
The Palace itself is a sumptous and lavish collection of rooms beautifully complete with painting and furnishings of the time. It is howver absolutely jam packed with tourists and tour parties.
The chateau is massive, there are over 700 rooms, 2143 windows, 1252 fireplaces, and 67 staircases. Some of the areas are outstanding such as the Hall of Mirrors, Salon of Hercules and Queens Apartments.
The gardens are also vast and include roughly 1400 fountains using water pumped up from the Seine.
The Palace has seen some significant diplomatic occasions such as the signing of the WWI treaty and the treaty by Britain recognising America as an independent nation.
The Chateau has to be seen to be believed and makes a fantastic day trip from Paris.
Le Petit Trianon, after restoration works, is again open for interior visits since 22/07/2008. (I was lucky to arrive just on the first day of opening).
Please note that like the other parts of the "Domaine de Marie-Antoinette" Grand Trianon, etc. the Petit Trianon is closed in the morning and opens only at 12 h till 18 h.
Le Petit Trianon, longtemps fermé en raison d'importants travaux de restauration est enfin ouvert. Le 17/07/2008 un ami français me signalait que le Petit Trianon était encore fermé; par chance le mardi 22/07 lors de ma visite il venait d'ouvrir. Les ouvriers retiraient leurs machines et matériaux et il y avait déjà foule de visiteurs. Comme les autres parties du Domaine de Marie-Antoinette ce palais n'ouvre qu'à partir de 12 h.
When Louis XIV, le Roi-Soleil, decided to move the royal family from Paris to Versailles to escape from the poverty and diseases that were spreading throughout the city, he did so at a time when, ironically, the French monarchy was at its richest. All this money is of course reflected in the grandeur of Versailles and its magnicient palace and luxurious French gardens that spread over 100 hectares. Everything about Versailles is larger than life, from its chapel to its opera house to the famous Hall of Mirrors and the park's magical fountains!
Versailles is located about 20 km west of Paris. It's easy to get there by RER (yellow "C" line to Versailles), and actually what we ended up doing was buying an RER/Versailles combo pass: for 21.45 Euros each, it included our roundway trip RER ticket, quick access to all the Versailles buildings (no need to wait in line when you get there), and an audioguide for the visit of the Palace. You can buy this pass at the information booth located in the RER station (in our case, the Champ de Mars/Tour Eiffel station) and it's actually a really good deal if you plan on visiting the entire estate. You should allow an entire day for your visit because once you're done touring around the castle, you can head over to the gardens for a nice picnic before visiting the Grand and Petit Trianon and walking over to Marie-Antoinette's hamlet - which you'll find out more about in my next tip!
The Palace of Versailles, or simply Versailles, is a royal château in Versailles, France.
In French, it is known as the Château de Versailles. When the château was built, Versailles was a country village; today, however, it is a suburb of Paris. From 1682, when King Louis XIV moved from Paris, until the royal family was forced to return to the capital in 1789, the Court of Versailles was the centre of power in Ancien Régime France. Versailles is therefore famous not only as a building, but as a symbol of the system of absolute monarchy that Louis XIV espoused
The Grand Apartment (Grand Appartement du Roi)
'And since the Sun is the emblem of the King, seven planets were taken to serve as the subject of the paintings of the seven salons of this apartment' (Félibien des Avaux, 1674). The Grand Apartment glorified the Sun King. A room known as the Abundance Salon led to other salons_Venus, Diana, Mars, Mercury, and Apollo_each dedicated to a heavenly body. That is why they were originally called the Apartment of the Planets when the New Chateau was being built. In 1710, another salon was added, this time dedicated to the mythological hero
The Chapel royal at Versailles is consecrated to Saint Louis (that is to say Louis IX of France, the French monarchy's crusader king). The chapel features a tribune on the same level as the royal apartments, overlooking the nave. That is where Louis XIV, Louis XV, and Louis XVI attended daily mass, an important moment in a king's day. They only descended to the center of the nave for major liturgical ceremonies. Normally, the nave was occupied by the courtiers, who remained standing while the ladies of the Court filled the lateral galleries. Members of the Chapel music, renowned throughout Europe, occupied the steps surrounding the organ.
The Chateau Versailles is one of the largest palaces in the world and served as the residence of the French Kings from 1682 to 1789 at the height of the French Revolution. This extravagant building with surrounding gardens in French and English styles glorified the opulent life style of the monarchs of that time, Louis XIV and XV. Research reveals - 2000 windows,700 rooms, 1250 fireplaces, 67 staircases and 1800 acres of parkland. It became home for the French nobility and the Royal Court - a centralized monarchy. Another benefit was the premier role it assumed as a model for French and European art and architecture. During and after the Revoluion, the building was stripped of many of its amenities, some by auction. Following a mid19th Century external restoration, it has largely been used for tourism and only occasionally for government functions (such as the end of WWI). In the 1960's, Pierre Verlet, a famous authority of French furniture, began to reassemble or reconstruct the furnishings of the chateau creating the palace that visitors see today. Versaillles was declared a World Heritage Site in 1979. The photos demonstrate the main courtyard, facade, and rear of the palace overlooking the gardens.
It's very simple come early for the lines reach 1,000's long to get in......go slowly go into every room, go on the tour of the gardens for you have never seen anything like this in your life !!!! It's very sad, but the signs as you enter the palace says it all "Beware of pickpockets" Again bring your walking shoes, for your gonna walk tons and tons here !!!!! And don't rush through it !!!!! You can literally spend your entire day here if you choose to. The palace itself can take up to 2 hours to go thru the entire thing in a non rushed way. The tour of the gardens takes about 1 hour but the line usually is long itself.
Make sure to buy your tickets at a RER station in Paris and save yourself a lot of time (read my other tip).
The Hall of Mirrors is a major attraction of the palace, modelled after an ancient Persian hall in Persepolis. On the inner wall are 17 large mirrors with over 300 individual mirrors facing seventeen windows overlooking the gardens. The technology to create mirrors was new at the time of construction (1670s-80s) and the mirrors were an ego-trip for the Sun King. The ceiling is comprised of 30 paintings surrounded by stucco featuring Louis XIV as everything from a great administrator to a victorious general to a Roman Emporer. Spectacular glass chandeliers hang from the ceiling to reflect in the mirrors and extensive statuary lines the walls. In 1871, the German Empire was proclaimed in this room following the defeat of France in the Franco-Prussian war --- --- at the end of WWI, the treaty of Versailles confirming Germany's defeat was signed here --- --- appropriate revenge.
Although we visited Versailles during winter we spent an hour walking around the famous Gardens of the palace because we’ve heard so much about them.
Of course, you can walk only a small part of the gardens because they are really big, spread away on thousands of acres. During the warmer months you may want to try the little tram that will take you also to the Trianons (we didn’t go there this time).
There are a lot of fountains but none of them had water :( It seems they are operating only a small period in april. The big lake (pic 3) is 1.7 long but some tree paths (pic 4) or the symmetry of the gardens are also impressive.
The gardens are open daily 7.00 to sunset weather permitting.
It seems renting a bike is the best way to enjoy the gardens but we didn’t even think about on cold winter day.