Facts and Data
Unesco World heritage since: 1979
Size of heritage: 1,070 ha
- Buffer zone: 9,467 ha
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.
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Palace and Park of Versailles
The Palace and Park of Versailles, located in the Department of Yvelines in the Ile-de-France region of France, is a UNESCO World Heritage site of immense historical and cultural significance. This opulent palace complex, once the residence of French kings and queens, is a testament to the grandeur and extravagance of the French monarchy.
The history of the Palace of Versailles dates back to the 17th century when Louis XIII, the King of France, commissioned a hunting lodge on the site. However, it was his son, Louis XIV, who transformed the lodge into a magnificent palace. Under the guidance of renowned architects and landscape designers, the palace was expanded and embellished, becoming the symbol of absolute monarchy.
The palace reached its zenith during the reign of Louis XIV, also known as the Sun King. He spared no expense in creating a palace that would reflect his power and prestige. The Hall of Mirrors, with its breathtaking mirrors and ornate decorations, is a prime example of the opulence of the era. The palace also housed the royal court and government offices, making it the center of political power in France.
Over the years, subsequent kings and queens made their own additions and modifications to the palace, further enhancing its splendor. However, the French Revolution in the late 18th century marked a turning point for Versailles. The monarchy was abolished, and the palace was left abandoned and neglected.
Today, the Palace and Park of Versailles have been meticulously restored and preserved, allowing visitors to experience the grandeur of the French monarchy. The palace complex covers an area of over 800 hectares and includes the main palace, the Grand Trianon, the Petit Trianon, and the Queen's Hamlet.
The main palace, with its stunning architecture and lavish interiors, is the highlight of the site. Visitors can explore the State Apartments, which were once used for official ceremonies and receptions. The Hall of Mirrors, with its 17 mirrored arches reflecting the surrounding gardens, is a must-see attraction.
The palace gardens, designed by André Le Nôtre, are a masterpiece of landscape architecture. The meticulously manicured lawns, ornamental flower beds, and grand fountains create a serene and picturesque setting. Visitors can stroll through the gardens, marvel at the fountains, and even enjoy a boat ride on the Grand Canal.
In addition to the main palace and gardens, the Grand Trianon and Petit Trianon are also open to the public. These smaller palaces were used as private retreats by the French monarchs and offer a glimpse into their personal lives.
The Palace and Park of Versailles continue to be a major tourist attraction, drawing millions of visitors each year. Its historical and cultural significance, coupled with its architectural beauty, make it a must-visit destination for anyone interested in French history and culture.
Overall, the Palace and Park of Versailles stand as a testament to the grandeur and extravagance of the French monarchy. Its rich history, stunning architecture, and meticulously maintained gardens make it a UNESCO World Heritage site of immense value and a true marvel of human achievement.
Hotels and places to stay
Trianon Palace Versailles A Waldorf Astoria Hotel
Hôtel Le Louis Versailles Château - MGallery by Sofitel
hotel de France
L'hotel du Jeu de Paume
Hotel La Residence du Berry
ibis Versailles Château
Le Home Saint Louis
Videos from the area
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Medium airport - 4 mi (6 km) Paris-Orly Airport
Large airport - 12 mi (20 km) Paris-Le Bourget Airport
Medium airport - 19 mi (30 km) Pontoise - Cormeilles-en-Vexin Airport
Medium airport - 20 mi (33 km) Charles de Gaulle International Airport
Large airport - 24 mi (40 km) Tours-Val-de-Loire Airport
Large airport - 115 mi (185 km) Brussels Airport
Large airport - 179 mi (289 km) London Gatwick Airport
Large airport - 192 mi (309 km)
Bigger and popular cities in the wider vicinity are these:
- Le Raincy
These are some smaller cities that might be interesting. They are all rather close.
- Camp de Satory
- La Celle-Saint-Cloud
- La Miniere
- Le Chesnay
- Les Loges-en-Josas