Palace and Park of Versailles (Parc et château de Versailles) is one of the most popular tourist places in in Paris. The court of Versailles was the center of political power in France from 1682, when Louis XIV moved from Paris, until the royal family was forced to return to the capital in October 1789 after the beginning of the French Revolution. It was the official residence of the kings of France. After the French Revolution, Versailles was owned by the France citizens. In 1801 there was opened public museum.
The palace and park complex was a model for construction of many palaces and parks in Europe. Until now, the luxury of the palace and the beauty of the park are dazzling. It is great museum and one of France's foremost tourist attractions. Versailles palace and park included in the list of World Cultural Heritage. Do you want to see how kings of France lived? Welcome to Versailles!
Palace of Versailles
The earliest mention of the name of Versailles is in a document dated 1038, relating to the village of Versailles. In 1575, the land was purchased by Albert de Gondi. Several times he invited King Louis XIII on the hunting. Obviously Louis XIII liked to hunt in the surrounding woods. In 1624, the king ordered the construction of a hunting castle, and later acquired the land from the Gondi family.
King Louis XIV had it expanded into one of the largest palaces in the world. The large palace, the largest and most luxurious palace in Europe, was built here. Versailles was the official royal residence until French Revolution.
- The total area of the palace - 67.000 m2.
- Number of windows - 2153.
- Number of rooms - 2300.
- Number of stairs - 67.
The most famous place of the palace is the Hall of Mirrors (Grande Galerie, Galerie de Glaces). The hall length is 73 meters, a width 10.5 meters and a height 12.3 meters. Hall has 17 windows in front of each window are a large mirror (each consisting of 21 mirrors). The “galerie des glaces” has also inspired numerous copies and renditions throughout the world.
Also popular with tourists are the art galleries, king's grand apartment, chambers ladies apartments, palace chapel and the Royal Opera.
Royal Opera of Versailles (Opéra Royal de Versailles) is one of the best opera halls in Europe. It was perhaps the most ambitious building project of Louis XV for the château of Versailles.
Trianon Palaces and Marie-Antoinette's Estate
Construction of the “Grand Trianon” palace was begun in 1670. The palace is located at a distance of about 1.5 kilometers from the Grand Palace of Versailles to the north-west. The architecture of the palace was greatly influenced by personal King Louis XIV. Palace was the place where the king and his entourage could be away from the bustle of the palace of Versailles. The palace has its own garden. At a distance of approximately 300 meters is located also “Petit Trianon” Palace.
Village of Marie Antoinette
Village of Marie Antoinette (Hameau De La Reine, The Queen's Hamlet) was built in 1783 near the Petit Trianon Palace. Several small (compared to the palaces) cottages were located around the pond. The buildings were built in the style of the old French countryside. Near was also located the farm on which lived various farm animals. On the vegetable beds were growing vegetables. While here, the queen could represent himself as a resident of the village. Both the palace and the Queen Village are popular tourist attractions of Versailles.
Versailles Park is well known as the famous Palace of Versailles. The park is located to the west of the Palace. Park covers a much larger area in the days of the monarchy. The park has large number of fountains, paths and trees. The central element of the park can be considered the Grand Canal build in a cross form. In the park are also located Trianon Palaces and the Village of Queen Marie-Antoinette.
- The park area - 900 hectares.
- Number of trees - 350000.
- Number of fountains - 50.
- The Grand Canal perimeter of - 5.57 km.
There is not enough water for the fountains near the park. Therefore fountains operate only a limited amount of time. (For example, in Peterhof fountains are working all day during the summer season).
Information for visitors
Tickets to Versailles
There are several types of tickets for visitors.
The entrance ticket "Passeport ticket" gives an opportunity to visit all palaces in Versailles, to see all the sights on one ticket. Ticket Price (2012) is 18 euros, and 25 euros in the days of "Musical Fountains days" and "Gardens shows".
The entrance ticket to the Palace of Versailles cost 15 euros.
Tickets to Trianon palaces and Marie-Antoinette's hamlet cost 10 euros.
"Passeport ticket" does not give the right of access to "Fountains Night Show" and other shows.
Free entrance to Versailles:
- Visitors under 18 years of age.
- EU citizens under 26 years of age.
- People with disabilities and their accompanying people.
- Entrance to the park is free for pedestrians Versailles.
Buy a ticket on the of the museum website will allow you to reduce the waiting time in the queue -
Palaces opening hours depend on the season. During the high tourist season (from April to October), the palace are open for a longer time (always closed on Mondays).
Palace of Versailles 9:00-18:30 (9:00-17:30).
Trianon palaces and Marie-Antoinette's hamlet 12:00-18:30 (12:00-17:30).
The French gardens 8:00-20:30 (8:00-18:30).
Park Versailles 7:00-20:30 (8:00-18:00).
Palace and Park of Versailles are closed on 1 January, 1 May and 25 December.
Where is located, how to get to Versailles
Versailles is located in the suburbs of Paris, approximately 20 kilometers south-west of the city center.
Nearest RER station “Château de Versailles” is located near the entrance to the palace. There's no subway station nearby. The nearest metro station “Pont de Sèvres” is located at a distance of about 8 kilometers from Versailles.
The best form of transport to get to Versailles is train RER line C (yellow line). You must purchase a “Billet Origine-Destination” ticket for zone 1-4 (T + ticket is not suitable for a trip to Versailles, Versailles is located in Zone 4, the city center is a zone 1). RER Line C railway has several end stations. For a trip to Versailles you must select the train station following to the "Versailles Rive Gauche". This is the last station of line. Follow the information available at the station. Coming out of the train, take the exit marked “Chateau Versailles”.
Guided tours in Paris (and skip the line tickets).