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Rating 3.8 (163 votes)

Chateau de Versailles

Listed under Castles & Palaces in Paris, France.

  • Photo of Chateau de Versailles
  • Photo of Chateau de Versailles
  • Photo of Chateau de Versailles
  • Photo of Chateau de Versailles
  • Photo of Chateau de Versailles
Photo of Chateau de Versailles
Photo by flickr user Panoramas
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Famous for its gardens and fountains, its magnificent Hall of Mirrors, and above all for the man who built it (and eventually 'did for' the French Monarchy) - the Sun King Louis X1V. From 1682, when it was completed in grand baroque style, until the Revolution in 1789, it was the principal residence of the French Kings. The fact that the King had his court pay homage to him so far out of Paris, far from the 'hoi polloi', in no small part led to the monarchy's alienation from the French people - as well as the sheer extravagance of the place.

It is now one of Paris's premier tourist destinations, a 30 minute ride south by car. A nightmare to visit in high summer, when you have to queue for hours with the coach tours, and then shuffle around amongst the crowd, it's best seen off season and very early in the day - though Paris is a year round destination. As soon as the crowds arrive, duck out into the magnificent gardens, a worthwhile attraction in their own right.

Written by  James Dunford Wood.

Other expert and press reviews

“Palace of Versailles gets modern touch”

By Rory Mulholland for The Australian First Published September 23, 2009 FUTURISTIC purple horses and a colossal Yuri Gagarin are on show at Versailles as the royal palace shrugs off controversy and confirms its place as an important new exhibition spa… Read more...

Written by press. Continue reading on

Comments, reviews and questions by other travellers

I visited Versailles in 1987 and, to this day, I am dazzled and amazed by its beauty. I hope to come back soon and bring my children to see and appreciate it. I think about it all the time!

A "must see" for any traveller. Try to buy tickets that get you in right away - a bit more expensive but really worth it. Be sure to take a bottle water even if the day isn't hot. It is larger than one thinks. Opt for an electronic tour guide - saves you from missing anything. Awe inspiring. Even on the worst day it is beautiful and uncomprehensible to us in this day and age the beauty of the creative genius's that built the palace and it's grounds.

1 Reply

Good advice re: buying tickets early - Thanks!

Versailles is worth the wait!

I originally thought, as I was waiting in the 3 hour que, what on earth is all the crazyness about this palace for?! It was without a doubt beautiful from the visitor entrance, and I knew the gardens were supposed to be impressive, but after standing in the que to get my tickets for 2 hours, then spending another 3 waiting to get in the place, I was ready to give up. Thank God I didnt! The palace itself was extremely lavish, but you dont get the full extent of it until you reach the gardens. Stretching for miles and filled with things to do like renting a canoe or bike, getting an ice cream or tanning on the side of the lake, the atmosphere is breathtaking! Walking to Marie Antoinette's "humble abode" takes a while to get to but is as gorgeous as the rest. Upon returning to the castle you can see the full grandeur of the building. Versailles was one of the most beautiful palaces I've seen. It is plain why the French revolted. I would have wanted to take some of that grandeur for myself as well!

Palace and Park of Versailles

The Palace of Versailles was the principal residence of the French kings from the time of Louis XIV to Louis XVI. Embellished by several generations of architects, sculptors, decorators and landscape architects, it provided Europe with a model of the ideal royal residence for over a century.

Copyright © UNESCO/World Heritage Centre. All rights reserved.

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