Palace of Versailles
The Palace of Versailles is one of France’s most popular chateaus. It is located about twenty kilometers outside of Paris, making it an easy day trip from the country's capital. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a popular museum where visitors can learn about the history of the building, explore the park, and admire the decedent architecture.
The Palace of Versailles was first built in the 17th century and was used as a hunting lodge by Louis XIII. After that, it was used as a seat of power, until French monarchy moved to Paris. The building’s floor area is over 60,000 meters squared, with 2,300 rooms!
Within the palace, there is a lot to explore! You can visit the King’s State Apartments, consisting of seven rooms. Each room served a different purpose, but the rooms were open to the public for anyone who wanted to visit with the royal family on their way to the chapel. Each room features Italian-style decal with white marble and painted ceilings. You can also explore the Gallery of Great Battles, the largest room in the palace. It showcases paintings depicting fifteen centuries of the French military. Finally, explore the Hall of Mirrors, the palace’s most famous room. It is 73 meters long and holds 357 mirrors and seventeen arches. The hall was used for ceremonies, the signing of the Treaty of Versailles in 1919, and other special occasions. From the central window in the Hall of Mirrors, you’ll find a perfect view overlooking the Gardens of Versailles.
The Gardens of Versailles are a remarkable work of art by André Le Nôtre. The gardens took nearly forty years to develop, and the garden needs to be replanted ever 100 years in order to maintain the design! The gardens cover around 800 hectares and holds around half a million plants and 50 fountains! Explore the large fountains just behind the palace or walk down to the Grand Canal, a 1,670 meter (5,489 foot) long canal near the end of the property.
We highly recommend purchasing your tickets ahead of time, as the line can be very long. Tickets are not required to visit the Gardens of Versailles, so if you are not interested in visiting the palace’s interior, you can still wander around the gardens!
Visit their official website to purchase your tickets and to help plan your visit!