Everything You Need To Know About Versailles

Originally a simple hunting lodge in 1623, the Palace of Versailles has evolved into the magnificent Baroque palace it is today. From the famed Hall of Mirrors to the lush Gardens of Versailles, it's a...

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Louis Le Vau

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The Queen's House, nestled in the gardens, was rumoured to be haunted by Marie Antoinette's ghost, with sightings of her spectral apparitions wandering the premises.

Versailles nurtured a musical heritage as acclaimed composers like Jean-Baptiste Lully and Christoph Willibald Gluck crafted timeless masterpieces, contributing to an unparalleled musical legacy.

During the winter season, the vast Grand Canal at Versailles transformed into an enchanting ice-skating rink, providing the royal court with the exhilaration of gliding across frozen waters.

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Versailles, a palatial marvel transformed into a museum, epitomizes opulence and historical significance in Paris, France. Originating as a 17th-century royal abode, it profoundly influenced French politics and culture. Today, its captivating architecture, lush gardens, and extensive art ensemble by renowned artists like Jacques-Louis David and Jean-Antoine Houdon magnetize visitors worldwide. A quintessential stop for history and art enthusiasts alike, Versailles warrants inclusion in any Parisian itinerary!

Quick Facts About Versailles

Versailles Palace Exterior
  • Official name: Palace of Versailles
  • Address: Place d'Armes, 78000 Versailles, France
  • Date of opening: Opened as a museum in 1837
  • Timings: 9 AM to 6:30 PM (Tuesday to Sunday for Palace); 10 AM to 6:30 PM (Tuesday to Sunday for Estate of Trianon); 8 AM to 8:30 PM (for gardens) and 7 AM to 8:30 PM (for Park)
  • Architect: Louis Le Vau (first architect) and Jules Hardouin-Mansart (enlargement of the Palace)
  • Architectural style: Classicalism and Baroque
  • UNESCO World Heritage Site: Yes, since 1979
  • Number of visitors per year: Approximately 7-8 million per year.
  • Collection size: Over 60,000 pieces of artwork

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Visitors outside Versailles Palace
Main entrance of Versailles Palace

Overview of the Collection at Versailles

Paintings Collection at Versailles


The museum boasts a diverse collection of paintings showcasing historical and mythological themes. Admire masterpieces by notable artists such as Jacques-Louis David, capturing pivotal moments in French history. The rich array of portraits also includes works by Hyacinthe Rigaud and Élisabeth Vigée Le Brun.

Sculptures Collection at Versailles


Versailles houses an exquisite array of sculptures, adding a three-dimensional charm to the museum. Be awe-inspired by neoclassical wonders crafted by Jean-Antoine Houdon, and marvel at the intricate details of marble sculptures adorning the Palace's grand salons.

Decorative Arts Collection at Versailles

Decorative Arts

Experience the luxury of Versailles through its exquisite decorative arts collection. Ornate furniture, intricate tapestries, and luxurious porcelain reveal the lavish tastes of French royalty. Discover the finest Sèvres porcelain and the iconic furniture designed by André-Charles Boulle.

Vase in Versailles Palace


Explore a treasure trove of ceramic wonders, showcasing the skills of renowned potters from the past. The collection includes dazzling vases, intricate dinnerware, and charming figurines reflecting the artistic elegance of bygone eras.

Tapestries Versailles Palace


The museum's textile collection features an impressive array of royal garments and tapestries. Gaze upon sumptuous ceremonial robes and silk textiles, which once adorned the French monarchs, and immerse yourself in the splendor of the past.

Historical Artifacts Versailles Palace

Historical Artifacts

Discover fascinating artifacts illuminating life in the Court of Versailles. Delve into the personal belongings of Marie Antoinette and Louis XVI, as well as diplomatic gifts and royal souvenirs, offering intriguing glimpses into their extraordinary lives.

Must-See Highlights At Versailles

Hall of Mirrors Versailles Palace

Hall of Mirrors

The grandeur of Versailles unfolds in the iconic Hall of Mirrors. Marvel at 17 mirrored arches reflecting opulent chandeliers and elaborate ceiling paintings. This magnificent space witnessed historic treaties and lavish celebrations, offering a glimpse into the Palace's rich past.

Coronation of Napoleon by Jacques - Louis David

The Coronation of Napoleon by Jacques-Louis David

Admire the historical masterpiece by Jacques-Louis David, depicting Napoleon's coronation as Emperor of the French in 1804. The regal scene, rich in symbolism, portrays the majesty and power of the French monarchy.

Apollo's Gallery, Versailles

Apollo's Gallery

Step into Apollo's Gallery, adorned with breathtaking paintings, sculptures, and gilded ornamentation. The vaulted ceiling features Apollo, the sun god, in a splendid chariot surrounded by celestial figures. This room embodies the pinnacle of French Baroque artistry.

Marie Antoinette's Hamlet, Versailles Palace

Marie Antoinette's Hamlet

Escape to the pastoral idyll of Marie Antoinette's Hamlet, a whimsical retreat on the palace grounds. This rustic village, complete with cottages, gardens, and a mill, was the queen's peaceful haven, contrasting the opulence of the court.

The Royal Apartments, Versailles Palace

The Royal Apartments

Explore the sumptuous Royal Apartments, where the kings and queens of France resided. Admire the ornate décor, intricate furniture, and elegant private chambers, offering insight into the regal lifestyle of past monarchs.

Orangerie, Versailles Palace

The Orangerie

Stroll through the impressive Orangerie, a massive greenhouse housing a remarkable collection of citrus trees. The beauty of the citrus garden and the architectural elegance of the building make it a serene and refreshing spot to visit.

Royal Chapel, Vesailles Palace

The Royal Chapel

Experience divine beauty in the Royal Chapel, a stunning example of French Baroque architecture. Adorned with exquisite sculptures and a resplendent altar, it served as a sacred space for royal ceremonies and worship.

Neptune Fountain, Vesailles Palace

The Neptune Fountain

Be enchanted by the Neptune Fountain, an awe-inspiring sculpture adorning the gardens. This massive masterpiece depicts the sea god Neptune surrounded by nymphs and cherubs, celebrating the grandeur of Versailles' garden design.

Grand Trianon, Versailles Palace

The Grand Trianon

Discover the elegance of the Grand Trianon, a small palace for the king to escape the rigors of court life. The pink marble facades and exquisite interiors create a refined and tranquil ambiance.

History of Versailles

Versailles, originally a modest hunting lodge built in 1624, underwent a breathtaking transformation when King Louis XIV chose it as the site for his opulent Palace. The Sun King's vision was realized when, in 1682, he moved his entire court to Versailles, making it the center of French politics and culture.

The pièce de résistance of the Palace is the Hall of Mirrors, completed in 1684, which witnessed not only grand celebrations but also crucial diplomatic events. However, history took a dramatic turn in 1789 during the French Revolution when the Palace fell under the scrutiny of the Revolutionaries, signaling the end of the monarchy. In 1837, Versailles was reimagined as a museum, welcoming countless visitors annually to admire its extensive art collection. Among the notable historical events that transpired here was the signing of the Treaty of Versailles in 1919, formally ending World War I.

So go ahead and explore regal life and pivotal historical moments at Versailles as you embark on a fascinating journey through the captivating tapestry of French history.

Who Built Versailles?

King Louis XIV, Versailles Palace

Versailles, originally a hunting lodge, was built in 1624 by King Louis XIII. However, the grand transformation into the magnificent Palace we know today occurred when King Louis XIV, the Sun King, chose Jules Hardouin-Mansart as the chief architect for the expansion in 1682. Mansart's vision gave birth to the iconic Hall of Mirrors, adorned with 17 arched mirrors and opulent chandeliers. This architectural virtuoso embraced the Baroque style, infusing Versailles with intricate details and breathtaking grandeur. His enduring legacy extends to other masterpieces within the palace grounds, including the stunning Grand Trianon and the Église du Dôme. The collaborative efforts of these creative minds cemented Versailles as a timeless symbol of French power and artistic brilliance.

Architecture of Versailles

Versailles showcases the remarkable Baroque architectural style, a cultural movement that flourished during the 17th and 18th centuries. Characterized by opulence, grandeur, and dramatic ornamentation, Baroque artistry exudes a sense of splendor and majesty. Versailles' symmetrical layout, monumental facades, and elaborate interiors embody the essence of this artistic approach. The Hall of Mirrors, with its 17 arched mirrors and magnificent chandeliers, exemplifies the extravagant yet harmonious blend of architectural elements.

The gardens, meticulously designed by André Le Nôtre, complement the Palace's magnificence, featuring formal geometric patterns, grand alleys, and cascading fountains. The synergy between the architecture and the gardens creates an immersive experience, leaving visitors in awe of the seamless integration of nature and human creativity!

Additional Information on Versailles

UNESCO World Heritage Site, Versailles Palace

UNESCO World Heritage Site

Versailles was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1979, recognizing its cultural significance and outstanding universal value. As a visitor, you can expect to immerse yourself in a living testament to French history and art, strolling through the grand halls, admiring masterful works, and exploring the breathtaking gardens.

Musical Fountain Show, Versailles Palace

Musical Fountain Show

If you visit during the summer, don't miss the magical Musical Fountains Show! Witness the gardens come alive with synchronized water displays enhanced by classical music, creating a sensory spectacle that will leave you enchanted.

Royal Opera House, Versailles Palace

The Royal Opera House

Step into opulence at the Royal Opera House, a hidden gem within Versailles. This breathtaking 18th-century theater, impeccably restored, hosts occasional performances, allowing you to experience the elegance and acoustics that once graced the French court.

Frequently Asked Questions About Versailles

What is Versailles?

It's a historic palace-turned-museum in France, symbolizing French opulence.

Where is Versailles?

Versailles is located in Île-de-France, 20 km southwest of Paris.

Why should I visit Versailles?

You must visit Versailles to experience French history, art, grand architecture, and enchanting gardens.

How do I book tickets to Versailles?

You can book tickets for Versailles online for better convenience.

What are Versailles Palace’s opening hours?

Versailles Palace's opening hours are from 9 AM to 6:30 PM from Tuesday to Sunday.

What are the highlights of visiting Versailles?

Hall of Mirrors, art collection, gardens, Trianon Estate, etc., are all the best highlights of Versailles.

Is photography allowed inside Versailles?

Yes, but no flash photography to preserve the artwork.

Are guided tours available at Versailles?

Yes, guided tours are available for Versailles, providing insightful commentary and context.

Can I explore the gardens separately from the Palace?

Absolutely! The gardens are a separate attraction and can be explored on their own.

What is the best time to visit Versailles to avoid crowds?

Early mornings or weekdays are less crowded, especially during peak tourist seasons.

Is there a dress code to visit Versailles?

While there isn't a strict dress code, dressing modestly and comfortably is recommended.

How much time should I allocate for a visit to Versailles?

Plan at least half a day to thoroughly explore the Palace, gardens, and Trianon Estate.

Is Versailles accessible for people with mobility issues?

While some areas may be challenging, Versailles offers facilities and access for visitors with mobility concerns.