The Palace of Versailles is one of the most extraordinary achievements of 17th century European architecture. Initially constructed as a hunting lodge for King Louis XIII, the royal family's love for the estate saw the movement of the royal court from Paris to Versailles in 1682 by King Louis XIV, Louis XIII’s son. The hunting pavilion was transformed into a regal complex with ornate rooms, landscaped gardens and magnificent fountains.
For decades, the french royals continued to embellish the palace and rule from Versailles. It wasn’t until the French Revolution that the royal court was forced to move back to Paris. The palace also witnessed the signing of the most important of all peace treaties that brought World War I to an end.
The Palace Today
Today, the palace is one of the most admired and visited landmarks in all of France. Each year, it is estimated that approximately 5 million people visit the Palace of Versailles, and between 8 and 10 million people walks it's gardens.
Home to more than five centuries of French history, the Palace not only houses remarkable works of art within it's ornate walls, it is a work of art in itself. The château contains 2,300 rooms spread across 63,154m². From the glittering Hall of Mirrors to the stunning portraits that sweep the ceilings of the Royal Apartments, walking through the halls of the palace will take you back in time.
One of the most ornately designed rooms of all, the Hall of Mirrors features 357 mirrors, including seventeen mirror-clad arches that reflect the seventeen arcaded windows overlooking the gardens. The Versailles Palace Gardens span an impressive 250 acres, and continue to thrive as a beautifully manicured plot with 400 sculptures and 1,400 fountains.