Tours

Palace of Versailles: A French Cultural Treasure

I am a literature student who loves to travel. I’m here to share my insights on the stories of places.

Discover the Palace of Versailles, a beloved historical landmark with stunning architectural marvels and a rich, captivating history that will pique anyone’s interest. Explore the various rooms, apartments, and galleries that boast unique artworks and decorum that feature the artistry of France’s most celebrated painters, sculptors, and architects. This article provides everything you need to know about planning your trip to the Palace of Versailles. We have covered you, from entry tickets that grant access to the incredible fountains’ night show to what top sights are near the Palace. Stay tuned to learn more about the opening hours, parking information, and FAQs that will be useful during your Palace of Versailles tour! Don’t forget to visit the Sun King’s apartments, some of the most abundant and exquisite rooms.

History of Versailles in Paris, France

The Palace of Versailles is an iconic and historical landmark that served as the primary residence of French kings and was the center of French power during the reigns of Louis XIV to Louis XVI. Originally built as a small hunting lodge, it was expanded by Louis XIV to become what is now known as the Grand Palace. The Palace of Versailles is a UNESCO World Heritage site and is renowned for its masterful 17th-century French art and architecture. The palace was designed by architect Jules Hardouin-Mansart and underwent numerous modifications and expansions to achieve its current form. When Napoleon III took over an architect completed leftover work from Victor Emmanuel II, adding decorative elements such as terraces and balustrades. The emperor added gardens with more than 6 km² planted between 1853 and 1862 using trees that he collected.

Today, the Palace of Versailles stands as a testament to French history and a must-see attraction for anyone visiting France. Marie-Antoinette, the last queen of France before the French Revolution, resided in the palace and left her mark on its history.

Architecture and Plan: the Maginificent Versailles Interior

versailles architecture

The Palace of Versailles is an iconic masterpiece of architecture, boasting a rich history dating back to the 1630s; truly a gem for the architecture in Europe. The corps de logis was built in the style of Louis XIII’s reign, while the gardens were designed by the popular landscape artist André Le Nôtre, taking over 40 years to complete. Renowned architects Le Vau, Mansart, and Ange-Jacques Gabriel made significant changes to the palace during the reigns of Louis XIV and Louis XV, which included major architectural overhauls.

The palace’s hallmark is the exquisite Galerie des Glaces, designed in the typically French and Neo-classical style. The King’s fleet of boats was stationed along the grand canal throughout the summer, and skaters and sledders were able to use the frozen surface throughout the winter.  Many brilliant artist such as Charles Le Brun have produced artworks specifically for this palace. Ange-Jacques Gabriel’s masterpiece, the Royal Opera, is one of his most famous works. Visitors to the Palace of Versailles can experience the grandeur of its beauty and immerse themselves in its rich cultural heritage.

Royal Apartments

The Palace of Versailles served as the primary residence for French kings from during the reign of Louis XIV to Louis XVI (and his famous spouse, Marie-Antoinette). The King’s Apartments offer visitors a peek into the royal lives of King Louis XIV and Marie Antoinette. A mere thirty-minute walk from the main palace, the Trianon Estate hosts the Grand Trianon, Petit Trianon along with the Marie Antoinette Hamlet. After being offered the Trianon by Louis XVI, Marie Antoinette added English gardens and a famous hamlet of rustic cottages.

The Palace of Versailles, a key monument associated with the French Revolution, and a symbol of spectacular luxury, boasts 700 rooms, each with beautiful frescos and intricate carvings. The Royal Private Apartments of the Palace of Versailles depict the grandeur and extravagance of the French monarchy, and the Trianon Estate reflects the personal taste of royalty known for their luxury. The Royal Court played a significant role in the history of the Palace of Versailles, and it is a must-visit for anyone interested in the history of the French monarchy.

The Hall of Mirrors

hall of mirrors versailles

The Hall of Mirrors is one of the most awe-inspiring sights in all of France. It is simply staggering to walk through this hall, filled with more than 2,000 mirrors that reflect an amazing array of natural and artificial light. The hall was originally built in 1755 as a royal palace for Louis XV and was later used by Napoleon I and his wife Marie-Louise as their private residence.

The Palace’s most renowned room, the Hall of Mirrors, was erected to replace a vast terrace built by architect Louis Le Vau that looked out into the gardens. The deck was uncomfortable and prone to bad weather, and it was not long before it was decided to destroy it. It originally stood between the King’s Apartments to the north and the Queen’s to the south. Le Vau’s successor, Jules Hardouin-Mansart replaced the terrace with an extensive gallery. 1678 construction began, and in 1684, it was completed with courtiers admiring the grandeur of the Hall of Mirrors.

The Gardens of Versailles

palace of versailles garden

The Palace of Versailles is a must-visit attraction for anyone traveling to France. Visitors can expect to experience a UNESCO World Heritage site that was once home to the French Monarchy, providing a glimpse into the history of the country. With 2,300 intricately decorated rooms, the palace is an architectural marvel.

In addition to the palace, the Gardens of Versailles are a sight to behold. Designed by André Le Nôtre, the gardens have been a worldwide reference since the 17th century and provide a model of an ideal royal residence. Visitors can expect to see a variety of works of art throughout the garden, including sculptures and fountains. Overall, the Palace of Versailles and its gardens provide visitors with a unique and unforgettable experience.

The Gallery of Great Battles

The Gallery of Great Battles

One of the fascinating parts of the Palace of Versailles is the Gallery of Great Battles. This 120-meter long gallery features 33 paintings depicting major victories won by the French army from the Battle of Tolbiac to the Battle of Wagram.

The Gallery of Great Battles reflects the importance of military conquests in French history and serves as a tribute to the great military leaders of the country. The intricate details in each painting and the grandeur of the gallery itself make it a highlight of any visit to the Palace of Versailles.

f you are a history buff, you cannot afford to miss the Gallery of Great Battles on your visit to the Palace of Versailles. It provides a fascinating glimpse into the military history of France and highlights the country’s significant accomplishments in arms.

Royal Chapel

Royal Chapel Versailles

The Royal Chapel is one of the most remarkable features of the Palace of Versailles. It was designed by Jules Hardouin-Mansart and completed in 1710. The chapel’s interior is adorned with beautiful frescoes, sculptures, and stained-glass windows that depict scenes from the Old Testament and the life of Christ. The chapel’s Baroque-style architecture, grand organ, and majestic altarpiece mesmerize visitors. Here, Louis XIV attended mass during his reign as the king of France. Today, the Royal Chapel still holds religious ceremonies and musical concerts for visitors to enjoy.

Versailles Gardens & Versailles Castle Entry Tickets

versailles ball room

The Palace of Versailles is a must-visit destination for people interested in French history and architecture. You can purchase Versailles Palace & Garden entry tickets online for your convenience. There are various types of tickets available depending on your preference – from the standard admission ticket with an audio guide to the Marie Antoinette Estate and Trianon Palaces entry tickets. The standard entry ticket offers access to the Castle, Carrosses Gallery, Park, and Gardens of Versailles, except on show days. Time slots for Palace entry must be booked, and tickets must be bought online for entry within half an hour of the booked time slot. So, plan ahead and pre-book your tickets to witness the magnificent beauty of this historic monument without any hassles.

Palace-only Ticket & Audio guide

If you’re planning a visit to the Palace of Versailles, there are a number of entry ticket options available to choose from. The Palace Only Ticket & Audio guide is a popular choice, providing entry to the palace and access to an audio guide in English and 11 other languages.

In addition to the Palace Only Ticket, tickets that include access to the Gardens are also available from November 1st to 31st March. Visitors can also purchase entrance tickets to the Palace of Versailles and transport from Paris.

Full Access Ticket & Audio Guide

To fully experience the Palace of Versailles, visitors should consider purchasing a Full Access ticket. This ticket includes entry to the palace, gardens, and estate of Trianon, as well as access to an audio guide in English and other languages. However, note that an additional fee must be paid on Fountain Show and Musical Garden days.

Musical Fountains Show

versailles-fountain

One of the highlights of visiting the Palace of Versailles is The Fountains Night Show, a magical and unforgettable experience. The show will take place on specific dates from June 10th until September 23rd, Friday July 14th, and Tuesday August 15th. Visitors can enjoy the spectacular show from June 10th to September 16th. From April 1st to October 29th 2023, the Gardens of Versailles will open from 8.30pm to 11.05pm. Children aged 0-5 are permitted free entry, while there is a reduced entrance fee for other visitors. The Fountains Night Show is a must-see attraction for those visiting France and is sure to leave a lasting impression.

What to expect

Visiting Versailles Palace is a must-do activity on most visitors’ itineraries. The palace is known for its stunning Hall of Mirrors, State Apartments and Gardens. With over 700 rooms and 60,000 collections of artwork, Versailles is a palace of luxury, opulence and beauty.

However, due to the tremendous popularity of this attraction, it’s recommended that visitors book their tickets in advance to avoid queuing for hours. Audio guides are included with some tickets, providing visitors with more in-depth knowledge of the palace’s history and collections.

Schedule

If you’re planning a visit to the Palace of Versailles, it’s essential to plan your itinerary in advance to make the most of your time there. The palace is open daily, except for Mondays, from 9:00 am to 6:30 pm. However, it’s worth noting that the ticket office closes at 5:00 pm, so make sure you arrive early enough to purchase your tickets. Besides, if you’re interested in watching the Fountains Night Show, plan your visit for specific dates between June and September, and book your tickets in advance.

Finally, remember to wear comfortable shoes and bring sunscreen as you’ll be spending a lot of time exploring the vast estate, including the palace, gardens, and Trianon.

What are the opening hours of the Palace of Versailles?

Palace of Versailles View

If you’re planning to visit the Palace of Versailles, it’s important to know what to expect. The Versailles Palace opening hours are Tuesday through Sunday from 9:30 AM to 6:30 PM during the high season (from April to October) and 9:00 AM to 5:30 PM in the low season (from November to March). Keep in mind that the palace is closed on Mondays, 25 December, and 1 January.

It’s also worth noting that visitors can get free admission to all areas of the estate on the first Sunday of every month between November and March. With this in mind, plan your visit accordingly to make the most out of your trip to the Palace of Versailles.

Useful information

If you’re planning a visit to the Palace of Versailles, there are a few things you can expect to make the most of your experience.

  • Downloading the official Palace of Versailles app is a great way to access audio tours, interactive maps, and other useful information to enhance your visit. The app is completely free of charge and can be used without an internet connection.
  • Another way to maximize your visit is to get insider tips from Palace of Versailles staff to find out when is the best time to visit.
  • Additionally, there are a variety of guided tours to choose from, including options with additional activities such as breakfast or lunch at the palace, access to some of the secret rooms, and various transportation options. It’s worth noting that some guided tours include transportation to and from Versailles Palace. So, take advantage of these options and get ready for an unforgettable experience at the Palace of Versailles!

How much does it cost to tour Palace of Versailles?

Palace of Versailles Windows

Visitors to the Palace of Versailles can expect to pay an admission fee which gives them access to the gardens, fountains, and Musical Fountains and Musical Gardens shows. For those who wish to explore further, a passport ticket is available for €21,50 (€28,50 on show days) which includes access to the Trianon estate and the Queen’s Hamlet.

Children under 18, EU residents under 26, people with reduced mobility and accompanying adults are entitled to free access to the Château and the Trianon Domaine. For those who just want to explore the gardens, tickets range from €9-€11, with children under 6 years old going free. With so much to see and explore, the Palace of Versailles is a must-visit destination for anyone interested in history, art, or architecture.

Should I buy Versailles tickets in advance?

Knowing what to expect regarding tickets and tours is essential if you’re planning a trip to the Palace of Versailles. One question often arises whether buying Versailles tickets in advance is necessary.

The answer is yes, especially during peak tourist season. Purchasing tickets in advance will save you time waiting in long lines and ensure that you can enter the palace and gardens at your desired time. Additionally, purchasing tickets in advance may also give you access to special tours or events that are not available to those who buy tickets on the day of their visit.

Overall, planning ahead and purchasing Versailles tickets in advance is highly recommended to ensure a smooth and enjoyable visit to this iconic attraction.

Top sights near Palace of Versailles

The Palace of Versailles is a must-visit when in Paris, but it’s not the only attraction in the area worth seeing. Visitors to Versailles can explore some of the most iconic sights in Paris as well, like the;

  • Louvre Museum
  • Seine River
  • Eiffel Tower
  • Paris Catacombs
  • Arc de Triomphe

The Palace of Versailles remains the main attraction though. There are various tour companies available that offer Versailles tickets to tour the palace’s 2300 lavishly decorated rooms, including the Hall of Mirrors, The Royal Chapel, War Room, and King and Queen’s grand apartments. Additionally, the Versailles Guided Bike & Palace Tour includes admission to the Palace of Versailles and the Grand and Petit Trianons, as well as garden tickets on fountain days. Also, make sure to check our blog on Paris River Cruise & Boat Tours for more tour options during your stay!

 

To make the most of your visit to the Palace of Versailles, it’s important to understand what the tour entails, what you can expect, and how much it may cost. There are a few different options available for tickets, depending on how much access you want and whether you want to see the Fountains Night Show. To ensure you have a seamless experience, we recommend purchasing your tickets in advance before your visit. Additionally, be prepared with useful information such as the opening hours, parking details and which day the Palace is closed. For more information on Palace of Versailles tickets and tours, check out our complete guide.

FAQ

Why is the Palace of Versailles famous?

The Palace of Versailles is famous for being the opulent residence of French royalty, including King Louis XIV, during the 17th and 18th centuries. Its grand architecture and lavish interior design reflect the wealth and power of the French monarchy at the time. Today, it is recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage site and a symbol of France's history and cultural heritage.

Who owns the Palace of Versailles now?

The Palace of Versailles is owned by the French government and is a UNESCO World Heritage site. It serves as a popular tourist attraction and is open to visitors from around the world.

What is the Palace of Versailles now used for?

The Palace of Versailles is now used as a museum and a popular tourist attraction. It features exhibits and collections related to the history of the palace and its former occupants, such as the famous French king Louis XIV. Visitors can explore the ornate rooms and gardens of the palace and learn about the rich cultural heritage of France. Additionally, the palace hosts special events and exhibitions throughout the year, making it a vibrant and dynamic cultural center.

Did people live in the Palace of Versailles?

Yes, people did live in the Palace of Versailles. The palace was originally built by Louis XIII as a hunting lodge but was expanded by his son, Louis XIV, into a grand palace, which served as the royal residence. The palace was home to the king, his family, and his courtiers, who lived on the palace grounds and participated in the many formal ceremonies and events that took place there. Today, the palace is a popular tourist destination and a testament to the opulence and grandeur of the French monarchy.

Where is the Palace of Versailles located?

The Palace of Versailles is located in Versailles, France, which is a suburb located approximately 20 kilometers southwest of Paris. The Palace was the principal residence of French kings from the time of Louis XIV in the late 17th century until the French Revolution in the late 18th century. Today, the Palace is one of the most popular tourist attractions in France, drawing millions of visitors each year who come to admire its elaborate architecture, stunning gardens, and rich history.
Rate this post

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button