If you plan on taking a day trip out of Paris, then the perfect place to visit is the Palace of Versailles. Mostly famous due to the last king who called it home, Louis XVI and his wife Marie Antoinette, this castle needs to introduction. The earliest mention of Versailles was in 1038, in a document that referenced Versailles as a village, before the castle was in existence. The construction of the Palace and gardens lasted through three different reigns, it began with Louis XIV, then Louis XV, and finally to the beheading of Louis XVI. The Palace of Versailles was the official seat of power until 1789, however it was still known as the “cradle of liberty.” It is here that the people of Paris made their stand against King Louis XVI and forced him back to Paris. Thankfully during the French Revolution, all the pieces of art within the Palace were taken to the Louvre for safe keeping.
The Palace has 2,143 windows, 1,252 fireplace, 700 rooms and 67 staircases, as well as prestigious 250 acre gardens which measure larger than the island of Manhattan in New York. The gardens are landscaped with fountains, geometric pattern of bushes, flowerbeds, and trees. The Hall of Mirrors contains 357 mirrors in total, all which reflect the grand gardens through the arched windows. Historically, the Hall of Mirrors is also where the Treaty of Versailles was signed in 1919 to end WWI. The Grand Apartment of King Louis XIV, also known as the Apartment of the Plants, is a site to see. The Queen’s bedroom was one of the largest rooms in the apartments, because she was required to give birth in public to show that there was no question of the heir’s legitimacy. The Chapel of Versailles is one of the five chapels at the Palace. It is most notable due to its early Renaissance trends, such as gargoyles, marble floors, and impressive pillars. The Palace is a fine example of 18th century French architecture and art.
The Palace is not just a tourist attraction today, but it is used by politicians to discuss amendments to the French Constitution. There have also been several contemporary art exhibitions that have taken place, most notably American artist Jeff Koons’ in 2008.
To get to the Palace of Versailles from Paris just hop on the RER C line for a 20 minute ride. Take the train that is headed towards Versailles-Rive Gauche, conveniently the last stop on the line. Once you exit the station, there will be signs directing you and luckily it is only a 5 minute walk from here.
On your trip back to London from Paris, why not stay at The Shaftesbury Premier London Piccadilly and also check out Cinema Near Kensington.
How much does it cost to go from Paris to Versailles? Reaching Versailles by train is the cheapest option. From Paris, the total cost of a round trip to Versailles is 7,1€ per person all included. How far is Paris from Versailles in miles? Paris is 13.2 miles far from Versailles. How long does it take to see the Palace of Versailles? It will take 4-6 hours to see the Palace of Versailles.