The Gilded Gates of Versailles

Gilded Gates of Versailles

The Gilded Gates of Versailles

Things to do Versailles Palace

The English version of the Chateau’s website can be found at:
http://en.chateauversailles.fr/homepage

Bienvenue:  
Situated not far from the beautiful city of Paris is the Chateau de Versailles which is definitely worth the trip.  Here you’ll find a palace where Kings and Queens once roamed the beautiful halls.  Over several centuries, the grand palace and its garden have been transformed many times.  From a hunting lodge of Kings, to the grand court and center of government of France, to a pivotal location in the French Revolution and finally today as a museum, park and tourist attraction.  Versailles simply offers too much to write about in a single post.

Toutes les Gloires Versailles

The Inscription translates – To All the Glories of France

Versailles Exterior

A view of the Palace from the Courtyard

Water Partere

Another View of the Palace from the Water Partere

Highlights:  

Palace:  

  • The palace is a beautiful example of architecture, art and opulence.  Often crowded, self-guided tours meander through the palace.  Pick up a palace map to help you navigate the many rooms and corridors.  Beautiful artwork, furniture and sculptures are displayed throughout the chateau and there is even a beautiful chapel.  Take note of the craftsmanship of the building even in the fine details of the doors and mantels.  Don’t forget the beautifully painted ceilings and to look out the windows to catch a glimpse of the ornate gardens.
  • The audio guides, which are available in several languages and available within the Chateau, are a wonderful way to experience the palace at your own pace while hearing interesting facts and history.



Gardens:

  • Although it is possible to see both the Chateau and part of the gardens in the same day, doing so can be a very tiring effort!  The gardens can take quite a bit of time on their own to really enjoy them.  In the gardens, you will find a myriad of twists and turns leading to beautifully manicured gardens and fountains.


The Orangerie
is an area outside the palace that housed orange trees in a beautiful setting.

Orangerie

The Orangerie at Versailles

The Grand Canal is a gorgeous water feature and a nice place to sit and relax.

Versailles View

View of Grand Canal in the background

Fountains:

  • Tucked throughout the estate gardens are many amazing fountains.  Today, these fountains do not run everyday.  However, Versailles offers Fountain Shows at different times during the year.  Look for information on the Chateau’s website.

Neptune Fountain offers a spectacular show with its many jets and sculptures.

Versailles from Neptune

A view of the Palace from Neptune Fountain

Mirror Fountain

Ballroom Grove:

The Apollo Fountain:

Colonnade Grove:

Other Buildings:

Marie-Antoinette’s Cottage:  

  • Part of the palace grounds and quite a far walk from the palace, you will find Le Domaine de Marie-Antoinette or Marie-Antoinette’s Estate.  This is a lovely hide-away once used by the Queen.  To avoid a long walk, take Les Petits Trains to the Petite Trianon and walk to this site.

Grand Trianon & Petite Trianon:

  • Two other buildings on the property which may be of interests on your tour.

Grand Trianon

Outdoor Hallway at the Grand Trianon & Beautiful Floors

Food:  

  • There are several food venues on the palace grounds ranging from coffee shops to full service.
  • Brasserie de la Girandole offers food in an outdoor setting in the gardens with traditional french fare.  One cool day in the fall, we enjoyed soup à l’oignon gratinée, Croque-Monsieur, Croque-Madame and a bottle of wine.
Versailles Restaurant Board

A menu board a a Versailles Restaurant

Side Notes:  

  • Making the journey to Versailles and not seeing what everything that you planned can be disappointing so check the Chateau’s website to ensure that the areas or events are open during your visit as some areas are not operating at all times.
  • The town of Versailles that surrounds the Palace grounds can be quite charming.
  • Guided Tours, exhibits and concerts occur periodically in Versailles and on the palace grounds.

Getting There:

  • By car, the palace is approximately 30 kilometers from Paris. However, traffic can make the trip long during peak hours.
  • You can also take the RER (the regional train) from Paris which takes about 40 minutes.

Maps:


View Larger Map

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