Created out of the marshes that covered the hunting grounds of Versailles, André Le Nôtre designed the royal gardens by taming and levelling the surrounding woods. The gardens are decorated with ornate fountains, exquisite sculptures, parterres and groves. With the palace in the backdrop and a canal in the forefront, the sights of the gardens and the palace offer a truly spectacular sight. All the elements of this incredible place come alive with the rhythm of tunes, colourful and dramatic lighting effects during the musical shows staged regularly.
Over 50 grand water fountains can be found in the gardens of Versailles. Each fountain was designed and sculpted based on themes from Greco-Roman mythology.
From the entrance to the Royal Way, you will come across the monumental Four Fountains based on the four seasons. Other popular fountains across the palace grounds include the Fountains of the Fight of the Animals demonstrating the way of nature, Dragon Fountain (a majestic piece of art and the tallest one with water jet reaching a height of 27 metres), The Neptune Fountain, Latona's Fountain, Apollo's Fountain and the Mirror Pool.
Musical Fountains Show Days
- Saturdays and Sundays from 6 April to 27 October 2019
- Tuesdays from 21 May to 25 June 2019
- Additional dates (Friday 19 April, Wednesday 8 May, Thursday 30 May, Thursday 15 August
Musical Fountains Show Timings
Saturdays, Sundays and 8 May (Wednesday), 30 May (Thursday), 15 August (Thursday):
1. Historical Water Displays : 11 am to 12 pm, and from 3.30 pm to 5 pm ( Details in PDF for weekends)
2. Mirror Pool : Water display every 10 minutes from 10 am to 7 pm
3. Water Theater Grove : Water display every 15 minutes from 10 am to 7 pm
4. Neptune Fountain : Water display every 15 minutes from 10 am to 5 pm, and then from 5.45 pm to 7 pm. The finale of the show at the Neptune Fountain takes place from 5.20 pm to 5.30 pm
Tuesdays and April 19 (Friday) :
1. Historical Water Displays : 11 am to 12 pm, and then from 2.30 pm to 4 pm ( Details in PDF for Tuesdays)
2. Mirror Pool: Water display every 10 minutes from 10 am to 7 pm
3. Water Theater Grove: Water display every 15 minutes from 10 am to 7 pm
4. Neptune Fountain: Water display every 15 minutes from 10 am to 7 pm
Parterres and Paths
French parterres constructed at the foot of the palace on the garden side, consisting of plant beds in symmetrical patterns separated and connected by paths, form the essence of the open area surrounding the palace. The defining characteristic of the Versailles gardens are the French parterres constructed at the foot of the palace. Consisting of plant beds laid out in symmetrical patterns and connected by pathways, these gardens are one of the most widely recognized gardens in the world.
There are three large parterres - North Parterre, South Parterre and Water Parterre. The water Parterre has two rectangular pools which reflect the sun’s rays on the outside wall of the Hall of Mirrors. The South Parterre offers a beautiful view of the Orangery Parterre from above.
The royal grounds of the chateau are famous for its long splendid walks. Lined with lush trees, statues, ornate fountains and splendid waterways, these Versailles walks are as much of an attraction as the Palace itself.
Laid around two axes, north-south and east-west, there are multiple walks in the gardens of Versailles.The Water walk begins at the Neptune Fountain and ends at the Orangery and the Lake of the Swiss Guards. This walk is lined with 14 beautiful fountains.
The Royal Way ends at the Apollo’s Fountain and is lined with horse chestnut trees, yew trees as well as sculptures and statues.