Visiting The Palace of Versailles (Château de Versailles) is an awe-inspiring experience. Each area provides a unique look into French royalty from the lavish grounds and elaborate, intricate décor to the expansive Grand Apartments and picturesque gardens.
Not only does the palace offer insight into what life must have been like during the time of King Louis XIV, but it also serves as an exciting journey through history.
About The Palace of Versailles
The Palace of Versailles was the colossal home Louis XIV build in the late 17th century, just outside of Paris. It is a symbol of French royalty and absolute monarchy. Louis XIV transformed the hunting lodge into a massive palace.
Constructed in 1624 by Louis XIII, the palace was expanded by Louis XIV to become a luxurious display of French brilliance, with hundreds of exquisite works of art carefully curated by generations of the Royal family. Louis-Philippe restored much of the beauty that Louis XIV first imbued during his reign.
Today, it remains open with its beautifully detailed architecture, lush landscapes, and quintessentially French décor. From stunning works of art to admiring gorgeous gardens, The Palace of Versailles offers a truly inspiring experience. The Palace of Versailles sees nearly 10 million visitors annually, making it one of the most visited historic sites in the world.
Visiting the Palace of Versailles
Whether you want to explore renowned gardens personally or learn about their historical significance through a guided tour, The Palace of Versailles will leave an unforgettable impression on anyone who visits this iconic landmark. The Palace of Versailles is only a 35-minute day trip from Paris, France.
Hall of Mirrors
The Hall of Mirrors at the Palace of Versailles is a place of lavishness and extravagance. Located near the King’s Grand Apartment, it has 357 mirrors along its walls, ceiling frescoes, marble busts, and ornate chandeliers. One can only imagine this room’s beauty and splendor, which cost millions to create.
During the 1700s, royalty and noblemen convened in this hall for ceremonies and events marked by luxury and prestige. Visitors today can still experience its glory through its glittering reflection of light off each mirror, giving insight into the historical grandeur of Versailles.
The King’s Apartment
The King’s Apartment at the Palace of Versailles is an impressive display of elegance and extravagance. This historical apartment was once occupied by several French kings and queens, including Louis XIV, and it served as the home to royalty.
The intricate sculptures and decorations of this entire apartment are indicative of the craftsmanship from its era. From painting to chandeliers with gold detailing, painted ceilings, marble fireplaces, and paintings, this apartment showcases some of the finest works possible by artisans during that time.
The Royal Chapel
The Royal Chapel of the Palace of Versailles is an architectural wonder worthy of awe and admiration. Built under the order of Louis XIV from 1682 to 1683, this monumental structure reflects a fine balance between decorative features and religious simplicity.
From the amazing paintings that cover its ceiling to its glimmering golden mosaics, The Royal Chapel offers an unforgettable visual experience. Walking past the heavy columns and marble statues frosted with gold accents, one is instantly taken back in time to the French monarch’s lavish era.
The Queen’s Apartment
A display of grandeur in construction, the Queen’s Apartment is where Marie Antoinette herself was said to reside during her stay in Versailles. Situated close to the Hall of Mirrors and its immense main court, it makes for an enviable residence that still captures amazement and awe centuries after its completion.
Filled with artwork and belle époque furniture, her elegant apartment is both ornate and luxurious. It includes three main rooms that look out onto the gardens—the Petit Salon, Grand Salon, and Galerie des Glaces—all of which are decorated in the Baroque style that was popular during the 18th century.
The King’s State Apartment
Located on the main floor of the Palace of Versailles, the King’s State Apartment captures the extravagance and opulence that defined French monarchy during the rule of Louis XIV.
The inviting and grand spaces house some of the most impressive artifacts in European history. Statues, paintings and other items depicting powerful religious figures grace many of the walls and corners. An incredible painted ceiling with ornate designs surrounds visitors transporting them back to a time before modernity.
The Gallery of Great Battles
The Gallery of Great Battles at The Palace of Versailles is impressive. Louis-Philippe, the crown prince of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette, commissioned the remarkable Gallery of Great Battles in The Palace of Versailles.
Louis-Philippe was devoted to restoring French history and culture and sought to create a hall that would honor French military victories. There are 33 paintings that elegantly depict the decisive moments in some of the most famous battles, including those from the reign of Louis XIV.
When you walk through and admire the Gallery, you are truly looking at an artistic masterpiece that captures France’s great military victories.
The Gardens at The Palace of Versailles
The Gardens of The Palace of Versailles are a stunning sight to behold. The gardens were created in 1631 under the commission of Louis XIII and have been used as a source of inspiration for many world-renowned gardeners over the centuries.
The sheer scale and precision are breathtaking – from small groves of trees arranged in exact geometric shapes to large orchid beds displaying vivid blooms, reflecting pools lined with statues of gods and goddesses, radiating paths that wind around marble fountains spouting delicately carved cherubs.
Tips for Visiting the Palace of Versailles
Here are a few tips for visiting the Palace of Versailles:
- Grab a map and download the audio guide
- Be sure to wear comfortable walking shoes and bring a water bottle
- Consider a guided tour for more information
- If you’re merely taking in the sights give yourself at least 4 hours
- Try one of the famous macarons from Ladurée
Final Thoughts on The Palace of Versailles
Visiting the magnificent Palace of Versailles is an experience you will never forget. From its rolling gardens and landscaped grounds to its spectacular golden details inside, it is a marvel.
Versailles is stunning from a visual perspective, and its rich history provides a unique insight into French courtly life – allowing you to immerse yourself in the past truly. If you get the chance, visiting the Palace of Versailles is the perfect day trip from Paris, France.
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This article The Palace of Versailles: A Lovely Day Trip From Paris, France originally appeared on Wander With Alex.
Alexandrea Sumuel is a travel writer and the founder of Wander With Alex, where she provides vacationers and travel enthusiasts with trip ideas, travel guides, news, and itineraries. She travels to experience, eat, and explore-- and, on occasion, escape! Alex’s mission is to help people travel easier.