/ / Versailles: photos, description (Parc et chateau de Versailles)

Versailles: photos, description (Parc et chateau de Versailles)

Versailles - world's most famous Royal residence. Surrounded by the renowned Park, it is sixteen kilometers South-West of Paris.

The History Of Versailles

The first mention of the castle dates back to the XII century. In 1623 a young Louis XIII who needs sometimes in solitude (he suffered bouts of agoraphobia, fear of crowds) built here a three-story hunting Lodge. By 1632, the king bought back all the surroundings of the Archbishop de Gondi of Paris, began the construction of a new castle was surrounded by gardens.

When the king died, his four year old son could not take power. For the first time Louis XIV came to Versailles in October 1641, fleeing from the smallpox epidemic. Married in 1660 to Maria Theresa, he decided to establish here their new residence.

By 1668 the first phase of the reconstruction conducted by the architect Louis Le Vaux and the king's gardener, Andre Le nôtre, was completed. Versailles was one of the best palaces of Europe. But his contemporaries criticized: the place was chosen on the shifting Sands and the swamp, areas little. To live in those years, the king continued in the Louvre.

Soon there appeared the king and Queen, the famous Mirror gallery. In 1678 the renovation was doing great Jules Hardouin-Mansart. He changed the facade of the Palace, was attached to his lush wings, upgraded interiors, introduce them to the ceremonial staircase, created the Grand Canal. Residence in the style of classicism with Baroque elements acquired genuine brilliance.

The sun king moved to Versailles in 1682. But later he went on to finish a pet project. Here was born his successor, Louis XV, in which there was a pool of Neptune, the Royal Opera house, full of masterpieces of painting and sculpture salon of Hercules.

In 1770, in the chapel of Versailles married the future Louis XVI and Marie-Antoinette. Enormous expenses of the Royal couple on construction, in particular, the Small Trianon became one of the reasons of disturbances on the eve of the Revolution. October 5, 1789, the people invaded the residence and seized the Royal family. Before leaving, Louis XVI asked the Manager: "Try to save my Versailles!". But works of art sent to the Louvre, furniture sold at auction, the Petit Trianon turned into a tavern.

Palace Museum

To fully restore the luster of Versailles failed even to Napoleon. King Louis-Philippe transformed it into a Museum of French history, which was officially opened in 1837. During the Franco-Prussian war of 1870 the Palace has experienced the humiliation: here is located the headquarters of the Prussian troops. Not by chance the world to a defeated Germany in 1919, was signed here in the hall of mirrors.

Today Versailles is one of the richest museums. In its art collections - masterpieces of Mignard, Le Brun, Rigaud, Houdon, Renoir, Delacroix, Gerard. The surrounding Palace gardens - a brilliant example of classic French formal garden with terraces, fountains and sculptures.

The Museum is always full, and queue for the tickets. On the tour, caution is needed: in the halls to meet a clever pickpockets. But huge areas of the Park you can explore, traveling on a rented electric car.


  • Location: Place d'armes, Versailles
  • How to get there: metro-RER train to the station "Versailles-Chantiers" or "Versailles-Rive Droite".
  • Official website: http://www.chateauversailles.fr
  • Opening hours: the Park and palaces are open daily from 9.00 to 18.00. The fountains operate strictly at a certain time from April to October.
  • Tickets: full ticket with a tour of the palaces and fountains is worth 25 euros. Can be purchased separately, the cost will be lower.