Palace of Versailles (Château de Versailles), Versailles

Palace of Versailles (Château de Versailles), Versailles (must see)

Although Versailles existed as a village in the early 11th century, it wasn’t until King Louis 13th built a hunting lodge here in 1624 that the history of the Palace of Versailles (Chateau de Versailles) really began.

The king obtained seigniory of the land in 1632 and had the lodge enlarged into a chateau. His son (the future Louis 14th) played here as a child and he loved the place. When he became king he contracted the great architect Louis le Vau and the innovative landscape gardener André le Notre to change the chateau and grounds into the magnificent palace and gardens you can visit today.

Of course this didn’t happen overnight and the king devoted most of his life to the project. The most significant building work took place between 1669 and 1672, when the hunting lodge was enveloped on three sides – the north, the south and the west.

The Grand Apartment du Roi was built in the north part of the Piano Nobile with the Grand Apartment de la Reine in the south part. The western part was a terrace until it was enclosed to house the Hall of Mirrors (Galerie des Glaces) in 1678.

The architect of this beautiful hall was Jules Hardouin-Mansart and as well as enclosing the terrace, he took three rooms from the king’s and three from the queen’s. The hall comprises 17 arched mirrors facing 17 arched windows that reflect the sun and fill the hall with golden light.

To get away from the over-crowded city of Paris, Louis 14th began to move his court here in 1678. From then until the beginning of the French Revolution when the Royal family was forced to leave the palace, the kings of France reigned from here and it was the centre of political power.

Want to visit this sight? Check out these Self-Guided Walking Tours in Versailles. Alternatively, you can download the mobile app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" from iTunes App Store or Google Play. The app turns your mobile device to a personal tour guide and it works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

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Palace of Versailles (Château de Versailles) on Map

Sight Name: Palace of Versailles (Château de Versailles)
Sight Location: Versailles, France (See walking tours in Versailles)
Sight Type: Attraction/Landmark
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:

Walking Tours in Versailles, France

Create Your Own Walk in Versailles

Create Your Own Walk in Versailles

Creating your own self-guided walk in Versailles is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Versailles Garden Fountains Tour

Versailles Garden Fountains Tour

Besides its many wonderful plants and trees landscaped into amazing patterns, the gardens at the Royal Palace of Versailles have another key ingredient: water. The marvelous fountains and other fantastic water features here only serve to underline the magnificent beauty of the whole complex. Take our tour to see the best water features in the royal gardens.

Tour Duration: 4 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 10.1 Km or 6.3 Miles
Versailles Introduction Walking Tour

Versailles Introduction Walking Tour

Situated on the southwest outskirts of Paris, Versailles is a small city famed for housing the opulent residence of French royalty, the Palace of Versailles. The latter is, by far, Versailles' main attraction, complete with its Hall of Mirrors, Grand Apartments and the Royal Chapel, as well as the spacious formal gardens adorned with fountains and sculptures. Another major attraction is the...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.8 Km or 2.4 Miles