There is a place in France where you can feel the grandeur of French history with all its might. The Palace of Versailles has everything tourists are looking for: magnificent architecture, great art, beautiful nature, and history traces all over the place. If you are planning your Paris trip, read our article beforehand! Here you will find some gripping facts about the Palace of Versailles, as well as essential tourist information concerning the Versailles gardens.
4 Facts You Need to Know About Versailles History
Versailles history is closely entwined with French and European history. Constructed as the epitome of absolute monarchy, the Palace of Versailles gives any history fan a thrill. Here is a list of the most important historical facts about the Palace of Versailles:
- the palace was built by probably the most famous French king Louis XIV on the place of a former hunting lodge. The main palace was built in 1661 – 1710;
- the Palace of Versailles was an official seat of the French royalty, even though the successive kings shared their time between Versailles and palaces in Paris and other cities;
- Versailles history was marked by revolutionary events. In 1789 the women of Paris marched down to the Palace of Versailles and demanded bread. This is considered to be the beginning of the French Revolution;
- in 1919 the Treaty of Versailles was signed in the palace. It marked the end of the First World War and made a significant contribution to the European history in the XX century. The Treaty of Versailles was signed in the Hall of Mirrors, one of the central galleries and main ceremonial reception room.
If at first you want to get acquainted with Versailles history without leaving your home, try out the following options!
See Versailles Before You Visit
Nowadays the Palace of Versailles enjoys a new wave of popularity due to the Versailles TV show. However, only a couple of scenes were actually shoot in the palace and its surroundings. Versailles TV series show regal baroque interiors, which are now scarce in Versailles. However, you can still spot the irreplaceable Versailles locations, such as the Marble Hall, the Hall of Mirrors, and the Grand Canal.
Another option to see the palace is the virtual tour of Versailles. It enables you to travel over the centuries and explore Versailles history without paying for a ticket to France. Versailles 3D virtual tour also serves educational purpose, as there are several videos on Versailles history on the website. The virtual tour of Versaille is probably the best opportunity to get to know the palace before actually visiting it. However, only when you do visit, can you really feel what is it so special about this place. Read on to know the Versailles secret gems not to be missed!
Places to Mark on Your Versailles Gardens Map
Getting around the main palace is relatively easy, but the gardens of Versailles may just blow your mind. So as not to get lost on the park’s 800 hectares, decide in advance which places of interest you would like to visit.
The essential Versailles gardens tour includes:
- Petit Trianon. A small palace built in refined Neoclassical style adds to the diversity of Versailles. The Petit Trianon used to be Marie Antoinette’s favourite location in the palace’s grounds;
- Hameau de la Reine. Another spot associated with the infamous queen is the Queen’s Hamlet – a rustic farmhouse surrounded with lakes brings English or Flemish rural charm to the gardens of Versailles;
- Grand Canal. More than 1 km long, this artificial lake used to witness the extravagant royal parties. The Canal dominates the gardens of Versailles and can be seen from almost any point;
- Leto’s Fountain. This sculpted group of mythological characters is one of the most emblematic fountains in the Versailles gardens.
No Versailles 3D virtual tour can replace the feeling you get in the gardens of Versailles. If you are keen on exploring the fountains, make sure to visit the Versailles gardens during high season. In low season fountains are switched off and the statues are covered for conservation reasons.
Great time and happy memories are guaranteed regardless of whether it is your first or tenth time in the Palace of Versailles. Visit and enjoy what French kings have enjoyed!