Palace of Versailles, Paris, France (with Map & Photos)

Palace of Versailles (Paris, France) - history, excursions, expositions. Exact address, phone number, cost of entrance tickets. Halls and rooms, historical events.

Palace of Versailles
Versailles Palace, view from Jean-Christophe Benoist park

The word "Versailles" from a proper name has long turned into a household name and has become a symbol of brilliance, luxury and impeccable taste. The Palace of Versailles today is one of the most visited attractions in France. And this is quite understandable - after all, there are imitations of this masterpiece of the era of absolutism in the world, but no equal to it was created.

Palace of Versailles
Marble Courtyard of Versailles Palace

Louis XIV wanted to do a miracle; ordered - and among the desert, wild, sandy, the Tempean valleys and the palace appeared, which in Europe has no such magnificence.
Nikolay Karamzin

Symbol of the French monarchy

Interestingly, the reason for the creation of the palace was the usual human envy. Having once seen the palace of Vaux-le-Vicomte, which belonged to the then Minister of Finance Fouquet, Louis XIV could no longer sleep well: he called the same team of architects that created the palace of the minister, and set the difficult task - to do “the same thing, but 100 times better". The monarch's desire was fulfilled: the architect Louis Leveaux began construction in 1661, and 21 years later, Versailles became the official royal residence - an unprecedentedly short construction time for a grandiose building with an area of ​​more than 6 hectares, consisting of 3500 rooms! When creating the palace and its decor, the latest technologies of that time were used: for example, Italian masters were invited to decorate the famous Mirror Hall, who at that time alone owned the technique of amalgamation. For major construction work, masons were ordered from Flanders, along with their secrets - the professional reputation of the Flemings in those years was the best in the world.

Although the project is striking in scale, during the construction of the palace they tried to observe austerity: for all the splendor of the decoration, not a single toilet was provided in the building, and half of the fireplaces were pure decoration.

Palace of Versailles
Palace of Versailles, parterre in front of the greenhouse

Gravedigger of the French monarchy

If the French were building the Palace of Versailles today, the construction would cost them a quarter trillion euros (the Americans launched 15 spaceships to the moon for half the amount). Add to this the costs of expanding and rebuilding the palace, maintaining a crowd of thousands of courtiers and lackeys, grandiose spending on balls and celebrations - and it becomes clear how heavy a burden the palace was on the economy. While Versailles grew prettier, France became impoverished, and less than a century after the "Sun King" his kingdom fell, and armed sans-culottes ruled the halls of the palace.

Palace of Versailles
Palace of Versailles, Hall of Mirrors

Versailles palace today

Although Versailles became one of the reasons for the death of monarchical France, today it paradoxically saves France: thanks to the multimillion-dollar flow of tourists, Versailles became a donor of the national economy - and so significant that the Republic allocated 400 million EUR for its reconstruction. More than 1000 rooms of the palace are currently open to the public, including the world famous Hall of Mirrors, the Large and Small Royal Apartments, the Battle Hall and the Royal Opera.

Palace of Versailles
Palace of Versailles aerial view

Practical information

The easiest way to get to Versailles from Paris is to take the RER line C (any city pass with zones 1-4 will work). There are also special buses from the Eiffel Tower.

Palace of Versailles Map