Palace of Versailles

Versailles Palace
Château de Versailles
The magnificent Château de Versailles is a testimony of the Sun King’s extravaganza. The Palace and its magnificent formal garden became the quintessential model for palaces in Europe.
Brief History
The town of Versailles sits about 20 kilometers outside of Paris. The first mention of the town and estate was in 1038, when the name appeared in a charter of the Abbey of Saint-Père de Chartres.
By the end of the 11th century, Versailles was a country village enveloping a castle and the church of Saint-Julien, remaining prosperous until well into the 13th century.
After the Hundred Years War, however, just only a handful of people lived there.
Royal Presence
In the 16th century, the Gondi family became the rulers of Versailles and the town began to gain acclaim when future King Louis XIII visited and became enamored with the site.
He purchased land in the area and proceeded to build a small brick and stone lodge there in 1622. Ten years later, he became the lord of Versailles and began enlarging his lodge.
Soon, he purchased even more land as well as Gondi’s estate.
Louis XIII then eventually dies in the year of 1643.
The Sun King
Statue of Louis XIV
In 1662, the new king – Louis XIV – took an earnest interest in Versailles.
Louis XIV, also known as The Sun King, distrusted the Parisians and wanted to move his Royal Residence away from the Louvre Palace, which was at the heart of constant political turbulence.
The Sun King was largely responsible for the expansion that resulted in the building that still stands today.
He hired architect Louis Le Vau along with artist Charles Le Brun to carry out the work on this Baroque masterpiece, which became the quintessential model for virtually all the palaces in Europe.Famed gardener André le Nôtre was responsible for the unequalled Versailles Garden.
After Le Vau’s death, Jules Hardouin- Mansart was commissioned to triple the size of the palace. Under his watchful eye, the northern and southern wings, the Orangerie, the Grand Trianon (a chateau) and the holy Royal Chapel were constructed.
Later additions included the Opera and the Petit Trianon (a small chateau), which was built between the years 1761 – 1764 for Louis XV and Madame de Pompadour.
The French Revolution
During the French Revolution, the incredible collection of paintings, antiques, and other works of art that had been amassed at Versailles were transferred to the Louvre and other important items went to the National Library and Conservatory of Arts and Crafts.
Most of the furniture, historians say, was sold at auction. The others, are yet unknown up till this very date.
A Palatial Museum
After the Revolution, Napoleon spent his summers at Versailles until he abdicated.
Later on, it was Louis-Phillipe who, in 1830, transformed the chateau into a grand museum, dedicated to “the glory of France.”

The Chapel, the Opera, and the Hall of Mirrors were preserved but many smaller apartments were destroyed to make room for spacious exhibition halls.
In the 1960s, however, curator Pierre Verlet was responsible for getting some of the furnishings back and restoring a number of the royal apartments.
Today, visitors to Versailles can visit much of the interior of this spectacular palace, as well as its world-famous garden.
Notable rooms include the following:
The Hall of Mirrors

Some call this Louis XIV’s most notable contribution to Versailles.
The main feature of the hall is the seventeen mirrored arches that reflect the seventeen arcaded windows which look out onto Versailles equally- magnificent garden.

Each arch contains a whopping number of twenty-one mirrors, for a total of 357 in all! This magnificent hall measures 73 meters long, 10.5 meters wide, and 12.3 meters high (240x34x40ft).

Statues and busts line the walls.
The Hall of Mirrors has always played an important role in history including in 1919, as the First World War officially ended when Germany signed the Treaty of Versailles in this hall.
Chapel of Versailles

The current chapel of Versailles is the fifth at the palace. Construction began in 1689 and was completed around 1710. It features a “tribune” on the same level as the royal apartments, overlooking the nave, where the kings would sit when they attended mass.

The architecture is a combination of Gothic and Baroque. Many of its features resemble cathedrals of medieval times, including the gargoyles and pointed roof, but other features are more reminiscent of the era in which it was built, including colored marble tile floors, columns, and carved pillars.
The Grand Apartment

Originally known as the Apartment of the Planets (the 7 salons of this apartment each featured a painting of a planet), this was King Louis XIV’s apartment.

While the entire apartment and all its salons are amazing, most notable are the ceilings, painted by Painter to the King, Charles Le Brun and his team of artists.

Art lovers will truly understand the meaning of falling in love again once they enter this amazing section!
Royal Opera

The auditorium of the Opera is fashioned entirely from wood, making it one of the most acoustically “live” theaters in the world.

Though it was a court theater and not meant for a huge public audience, it seats more than 700. Gold, pink, and green dominate the decor for the Opera, which wasn’t constructed until 1770.

It was first used for the wedding ball of future king Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette and boasts a unique mechanical system that raises the floor to the level of the stage. Today, it is still used for concerts and operas.
The Garden
At 100 hectare, which is roughly about 250 acres, the garden of the Versailles Palace is Europe’s largest palace garden.

It was created in the 17th century by landscape gardener André Le Nôtre who designed what could be considered the quintessential formal French garden.

The grand garden is laid out in a geometric pattern of paths, bushes, flowerbeds, trees and many more.

Le Nôtre also drained the swampy, sloping terrain and created a series of basins and a large canal, also known as the Grand Canal.
Several fountains adorn the basins. The most famous are the Latona Fountain – with a statue of the goddess Latona – and the Apollo Fountain – named after the sun god and depicting the Sun King riding a chariot.

There are several other fountains in the garden, such as the Neptune Fountain.

The fountains were installed to entertain the many guests invited to the lavish parties organized by King Louis XIV.
Another noteworthy decoration in the splendid garden is the Colonnade, a circular row of marble columns, completely designed by Jules Hardouin-Mansart.
There are also a couple of smaller palaces in the garden, they are: the Grand Trianon and the Petit Trianon.

Some 10,000 people worked in the Versailles Palace, so privacy was very minimal.

To counterbalance the privacy issues, King Louis XIV then ordered the construction of the Grand Trianon.

The Grand Trianon was a palace almost as luxurious as the main palace where the king could escape the formalities of the court and arrange rendezvous with his mistress.

His successor, king Louis XV, later followed in his fathers’ footsteps and did the same thing.
He built the smaller Petit Trianon for the same reason.

As they he always says: “Like Father, like Son”. – Joshua Hideki

Sorry bout that though, no offence to history here.
I just couldn’t help saying that!
Versailles Rive Gauche (RER-C5) + 800m walk
Versailles, 20km southwest of Paris
To see the rest of the pictures in this album, simply click: “Read more” to well… Read see more pictures!! You can click to enlarge them too!

I hope you did enjoy this post and found it informative.
Feel free to follow me via GFCGoogle+Bloglovin’ , and another Bloglovin too; etc..
And also, please do ‘Like’ my official Facebook Fan Page above!
If you want to be my friend, just add me on my personal Facebook account(s)!
I have 2 and they’re: Here Here!
Instagram: @JoshuaHideki
Twitter: @Hidekiuriel1
Tumblr: @HidekiUriel
Youtube: JoshuaHideki
~Thanks for reading yo!!~
+1’s would be much appreciated too.


About Joshua Hideki

Hi! I'm Hideki. You can call me Josh! ʕ•ᴥ•ʔ Welcome!!~ This is a Travel Blog covering Japan, and many other bits & pieces of my personal life. Photography, Blogging, Fashion & Traveling in Style. A travel guide for everyone with these passions. Absorb the mesmerizing atmosphere, take in amazing sights & let the enchanting ambiance take you away as you embrace different cultures & see the world through my eyes - my Eternal Memories. Visit my Blog at: ! Come discover Japan from the inside with me and also we'll provide you with the best destinations to visit; and that includes the rest of the World too! Please enjoy! Discover Japan & Travel the World with me!! Life is precious, you only have one so live it to the fullest!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes:

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>