The Palace of Versailles (Château de Versailles)

(Versailles, Ile-de-France, France)

Photo depicting the entrance of the Palace (Chateau)Often referred to as the Royal Château, the Palace of Versailles is the reason that people regularly visit this city and regularly travel the short distance from Paris. The palace itself is a spectacular building, surrounded by beautiful gardens and a number of additional historical structures and smaller palaces.

Constructed in the middle of the 17th century for King Louis XIV (the Sun King), on the site of a small and simple hunting lodge originally built by his father, Versailles displayed the wealth and importance of the French monarchy of that time. In total, building the château took a team of some 30,000 workers and soldiers, who toiled on this masterpiece for several years, the cost of which almost bankrupted the royal family.

Picture of the reflecting Palace of Versailles (Chateau)

Palace of Versailles (Château de Versailles)

Tel: +33 01 3083 7788
There are so many spectacular attractions at the palace that you could easily spend several days here and yet still not see everything. Inside, each of the rooms is decorated with great flair and to many will appear rather ostentatious. The ceiling paintings are exquisite and the fountains quite extraordinary, although only some of the original 1,400 fountains are currently restored and in full working order.

Today, the Palace of Versailles is a museum celebrating the history of France and regularly hosts a number of important government functions. Many special events and concerts are also often held within the palace grounds.

In its heyday, it is said that the enormous banquets held here required a kitchen staff of anything up to 2,000 people. Although not all of its 700 rooms are open, the public are able to explore those with the most significance. Particular highlights at the Palace of Versailles include the:

Open hours: Tuesday to Sunday, April to October - 09:00 to 18:30; November to March - 09:00 to 17:30
Admission: charge, discounts for children