The Château de Versailles, a witness to French history just a stone's throw from Paris

Published by Laurent de Sortiraparis · Photos by My de Sortiraparis · Published on February 14th, 2023 at 02:41 p.m.
Located southwest of Paris, in the Yvelines department, the Château de Versailles is one of the region's most visited tourist sites. With 7 million visitors a year (approximately), the estate offers visitors the chance to immerse themselves in history - history with a capital H - and in the daily life of the court between the 17th and 18th centuries.

A building that has seen and made French history... The Château de Versailles, located in the Yvelines department, just a stone's throw from Paris, is certainly one of the region's most visited tourist attractions. Every year, no fewer than 7 million visitors stroll through the Hall of Mirrors and gardens in search of a piece of history.

A cultural establishment on an enormous scale: over 63,000 m2 of space, divided into 2,300 rooms, 1,000 of which are open to visitors, 815 ha of parkland, including 93 ha of gardens... There's plenty to keep you busy when you come to Versailles for a stroll or to revise your history.

Les Grandes Eaux Musicales 2018 au Château de VersaillesLes Grandes Eaux Musicales 2018 au Château de VersaillesLes Grandes Eaux Musicales 2018 au Château de VersaillesLes Grandes Eaux Musicales 2018 au Château de Versailles

Construction began in 1623 during the reign of Louis XIII, and was originally a small hunting lodge where the king, who suffered from agoraphobia, liked to stay. Over the years, he bought up the surrounding plots until 1631, when major expansion work began, directed by engineer-architect Philibert Le Roy. In 1643, the king died, leaving the reins of power to his 4-year-old son, who was unable to govern, and Versailles ceased to be a royal residence. It would take Louis XIV 18 years to return.

Throughout history, Louis XIV and Versailles have become so closely identified with the king that they've become inseparable. Louis XIV was largely responsible for creating the Versailles we know today, and for turning the château from a small hunting lodge into a pleasure residence with extensive garden entertainments. The château also became his principal residence from 1682, as well as that of the court and government.

La Maison de la Reine rénovée au Château de VersaillesLa Maison de la Reine rénovée au Château de VersaillesLa Maison de la Reine rénovée au Château de VersaillesLa Maison de la Reine rénovée au Château de Versailles

After the king's death, his successor Louis XV deserted Versailles in favor of Vincennes, and it wasn't until Louis XVI came to power that the château was restored to its former splendor. Today, the château celebrates French history, while preserving traditions such as the Grandes Eaux and balls in period costume.

Good to know: Queen Marie-Antoinette had her own village, Le Hameau de la Reine, in the park at Versailles. Built in 1783, the rural-style village was designed to offer the king's wife a chance to escape the rigors of court life and recharge her batteries. The Queen's house has been renovated and is now open to the public once again.

Le Waldorf Astoria Trianon Palace, un écrin royal au coeur du parc de Versailles façadeLe Waldorf Astoria Trianon Palace, un écrin royal au coeur du parc de Versailles façadeLe Waldorf Astoria Trianon Palace, un écrin royal au coeur du parc de Versailles façadeLe Waldorf Astoria Trianon Palace, un écrin royal au coeur du parc de Versailles façade The Waldorf Astoria - Trianon Palace, a royal setting in the heart of the Parc de Versailles
Fancy a royal weekend in the countryside, just a stone's throw from Paris? Head for the Waldorf Astoria - Trianon Palace, offering a real change of scenery on the edge of the Château de Versailles park. A truly relaxing experience, especially if you haven't been able to go on vacation abroad due to the health crisis. [Read more]

La salle du Jeu de Paume rouvre ses portes au grand public le 1er avrilLa salle du Jeu de Paume rouvre ses portes au grand public le 1er avrilLa salle du Jeu de Paume rouvre ses portes au grand public le 1er avrilLa salle du Jeu de Paume rouvre ses portes au grand public le 1er avril A guided tour of the Jeu de Paume room, a treasure trove of the French Revolution
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The Domaine de Trianon can be visited separately from the Château. Located two kilometers away, it was once a place of refuge for kings, who found rest and relaxation away from the Court. Created by Louis XV, the estate became the fiefdom of Marie-Antoinette, who modified the grounds and created an entire hamlet, like a small village. [Read more]

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The Château de Versailles, its gardens and grounds, are a world heritage site. The official residence of the kings of France, the Château de Versailles holds the record as the largest château in the world, and of course the most visited in France. [Read more]

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It's in the enchanting, historic setting of Les Airelles Château de Versailles, Le Grand Controle, the hotel located within the Château de Versailles, that we set out to discover Marie-Antoinette's famous afternoon tea, orchestrated by talented pastry chef Aymeric Pinard. Come and slip into the shoes of a queen and king for an enchanted, gourmet interlude. [Read more]

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Le Jardin du Parfumeur, le nouveau jardin du Château de Versailles avec la Maison Francis KurkdjianLe Jardin du Parfumeur, le nouveau jardin du Château de Versailles avec la Maison Francis KurkdjianLe Jardin du Parfumeur, le nouveau jardin du Château de Versailles avec la Maison Francis KurkdjianLe Jardin du Parfumeur, le nouveau jardin du Château de Versailles avec la Maison Francis Kurkdjian The Perfumer's Garden, the garden of the Château de Versailles and the House of Francis Kurkdjian
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Airelles Château de Versailles, Le Grand Contrôle - hôtel -  chambreAirelles Château de Versailles, Le Grand Contrôle - hôtel -  chambreAirelles Château de Versailles, Le Grand Contrôle - hôtel -  chambreAirelles Château de Versailles, Le Grand Contrôle - hôtel -  chambre Le Grand Contrôle, the magical hotel at the Château de Versailles that goes back in time
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La Galerie des Carrosses à VersaillesLa Galerie des Carrosses à VersaillesLa Galerie des Carrosses à VersaillesLa Galerie des Carrosses à Versailles Good plan: these areas of the Château de Versailles are accessible for free to all
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Airelles Château de Versailles, Le Grand Contrôle - hôtel -  restaurantAirelles Château de Versailles, Le Grand Contrôle - hôtel -  restaurantAirelles Château de Versailles, Le Grand Contrôle - hôtel -  restaurantAirelles Château de Versailles, Le Grand Contrôle - hôtel -  restaurant The confidential brunch at the Grand Contrôle Château de Versailles
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Les Grandes Eaux Nocturnes du Château de Versailles x Bal Masqué 2024 - les photosLes Grandes Eaux Nocturnes du Château de Versailles x Bal Masqué 2024 - les photosLes Grandes Eaux Nocturnes du Château de Versailles x Bal Masqué 2024 - les photosLes Grandes Eaux Nocturnes du Château de Versailles x Bal Masqué 2024 - les photos Les Grandes Eaux Musicales du Château de Versailles 2024: a poetic stroll not to be missed
The Grandes Eaux Musicales and Jardins Musicaux at the Château de Versailles return to embellish the garden's basins and fountains for a new season. From March 29 to October 31, 2024, enjoy strolls around the estate's groves and fountains in a magical atmosphere worthy of Louis XIV. [Read more]

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Les Grandes Eaux Nocturnes return every Saturday evening from June 8 to September 21, 2024 at the Château de Versailles, as well as on July 14. As night falls, musicians and technicians join forces to bring back to life the evenings of Louis XIV, with large luminous jets of water and fireworks... It's a show you've got to see at least once! Bonus: this year, four exceptional evenings await us: June 28, 2024, July 14, 2024, for the Nocturnes de feu on August 15 and the Nocturnes Electro on Saturday, September 21. Check out images from the first evening with Bal Masqué participants in period costume. [Read more]

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The Sérénade Royale is one of the highlights of the summer in the Paris region. This immersive experience takes us back to the court of the Sun King, where we discover the leisure activities of the era. The Chapelle Royale, the Galerie des Glaces, the Grands Appartements du Roi et de la Reine and the Cour Royale unveil historic scenes with baroque dancers, sword fights and even theatrical skits. Saturday evenings from June 8 to September 14, 2024, as well as July 14 and August 15. [Read more]

L'exposition de la broderie monumentale d'Eva Jospin à l'Orangerie du Château de Versailles - image00008L'exposition de la broderie monumentale d'Eva Jospin à l'Orangerie du Château de Versailles - image00008L'exposition de la broderie monumentale d'Eva Jospin à l'Orangerie du Château de Versailles - image00008L'exposition de la broderie monumentale d'Eva Jospin à l'Orangerie du Château de Versailles - image00008 Eva Jospin's monumental embroidery exhibition at the Orangerie du Château de Versailles
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Le Tea Time de la Reine d'Ore à Versailles -  A7C8252Le Tea Time de la Reine d'Ore à Versailles -  A7C8252Le Tea Time de la Reine d'Ore à Versailles -  A7C8252Le Tea Time de la Reine d'Ore à Versailles -  A7C8252 The Queen's Tea Time at the Château de Versailles at Ore
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Photos La Petite Venise, restaurant des jardins du Château de VersaillesPhotos La Petite Venise, restaurant des jardins du Château de VersaillesPhotos La Petite Venise, restaurant des jardins du Château de VersaillesPhotos La Petite Venise, restaurant des jardins du Château de Versailles Heritage Days 2024 in Versailles (78): program of places to visit and events
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Les Grandes Eaux Nocturnes du Château de Versailles, les photosLes Grandes Eaux Nocturnes du Château de Versailles, les photosLes Grandes Eaux Nocturnes du Château de Versailles, les photosLes Grandes Eaux Nocturnes du Château de Versailles, les photos Nocturnes Electro 2024 at the Château de Versailles: music and fireworks
Once again this year, the Château de Versailles is organizing its Nocturnes Electro. Rendezvous on Saturday, September 21, 2024, for this musical experience inviting you to stroll between the groves and fountains of the gardens exceptionally under water and to the rhythm of an electro DJ soundtrack. Bonus? A fireworks display to round off the evening! [Read more]

La Galerie des Carrosses à VersaillesLa Galerie des Carrosses à VersaillesLa Galerie des Carrosses à VersaillesLa Galerie des Carrosses à Versailles Heritage Days 2024 at the Grande Ecurie de Versailles (78), the program
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Practical information

Location

Place d'Armes
78000 Versailles

Prices
Billet Château: €18

Official website
www.chateauversailles.fr

More information
Open Tuesday to Sunday, 9am to 6.30pm. Free admission for EU residents under 26.

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