Palace of Versailles (Château de Versailles), Versailles (must see)
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.
Palace of Versailles (Château de Versailles) on Map
Sight Location: Versailles, France (See walking tours in Versailles)
Sight Type: Attraction/Landmark
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:
Walking Tours in Versailles, France
Tour Duration: 4 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 10.1 Km or 6.3 Miles
Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.8 Km or 2.4 Miles