ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

The Chateau of Versailles: A Must-See Attraction on Your Next Trip to Paris

Updated on July 16, 2011

Louis XIV: The Early Years

Before Louis XIV got his Sun King hands on it, the Château of Versailles was little more than a royal hunting lodge on the outskirts of Paris.

"Little", however, was not in the vocabulary of Louis XIV (nor was his native "petit"), the boy king who ruled France from the age of 5 years old. (Me, I was trying to get out of eating my peas when I was five years old.)

In actuality, Louis didn't literally rule France while he was still sucking his thumb. His mother, Anne of Austria (yes, even a king has to answer to his mother), became his regent (one who rules in place of a displaced or underage leader). Together with Cardinal Mazarin, Chief Minister of France, she directed France until Louis' head was big enough to keep the crown from falling down to his shoulders when he put it on. It didn't take long.

Source
Source
Source
The Vastness of Versailles
The Vastness of Versailles | Source

The Chateau of Versailles: If You Build It, They Will Come (Or Else They Will Be Punished)

Always strategizing to greaten his power, Louis XIV had many ulterior motives in building a lavish palace about twelve miles outside of Paris.

For one, it would enable Louis to distance himself from the common people of France, for these were people in which he had no interest in (except to exercising his absolute power over them and collect taxes from them so he could build lavish palaces 12 miles outside of Paris. So he didn't have to see them.)

Second, by moving the court to this location outside of Paris and creating a lavish playground and prestigious social code for the Parisian feudal nobility (those who most threatened his centralized power) and others who would otherwise be strategizing to get them some more, he kept this nobility and others "fat" and away from any thoughts of political strategizing to reduce his power.

Versailles became the seat of French power and it was where Louis held court. He frequently gave gifts to those who were regular attendees, and always remembered those who were infrequent guests. If you had a request of the king, and you were an infrequent guest, bonne chance!

My guest room looks like this too
My guest room looks like this too | Source
One of countless depictions adorning the ceilings of the Chateau de Versailles
One of countless depictions adorning the ceilings of the Chateau de Versailles | Source
Hall of Mirrors, Versailles
Hall of Mirrors, Versailles | Source

The Chateau of Versailles: Welcome to My Humble Abode

The Palace of Versailles is the ultimate tribute to Louis XIV and his reign. It is opulent, grandiose, resplendent with the finest art of the day, the best crafted furniture, the softest silks, and highest quality mirrors, glass and marble. To build such a mammoth construction, in where attention to detail made its way into every nook and cranny, is simply astounding.

The feature rooms of the palace consist of the grand appartement du roi (the king), dripping in gilded bronze and marble and adorned with ceiling paintings depicicting the power of the gods; the lavish grand appartement de la reine (the queen); and the 240-foot long galérie des glaces (Hall of Mirrors) which connects the two.

With its 350 mirrors, opulent chandeliers, giant, arched windows and ceiling paintings depicting the Sun King in all his grandiosity, one stands in awe in this light- and reflection-filled room that looks out upon the spectacular gardens.

Other famous rooms in the palace include the Chapel (in its fifth incarnation now) and l'Opéra, the 712 seat main theatre and the opera house for the palace. L'Opéra was not not used by Louis XIV -- it was actually constructed after his reign. He had many theatre rooms which have since been destroyed and/or replaced, but none so impressive as L'Opéra.

I have a 42-inch plasma for my home theatre. Oh well, I'm not an absoute monarch.

Gardens of Versailles
Gardens of Versailles | Source
Les jardins
Les jardins | Source

Chateau de Versailles: The Gardens, the Fountains, the Trianon

Over 250 acres of gardens, with lakes, canals, and over 1,000 fountains, each of which is a work of art in itself, are laid out in grandiose, geometrically symmetrical designs by landscape artist Andre le Notre.

The grounds connect the main Palace of Versailles described above with the Grand Trianon and the Petit Trianon,.

The Grand Trianon was mostly a retreat for the king and a place to entertain and board VIPs. The Petit Trianon was a "small" chateau (it was still a lot bigger than my house) that was built by the Sun King's successor, Louis XV, for his mistress Madame de Pompadour.

Source

How Much to Gain Entry to the Court?

There are many options for bus tours that will take you from Paris to Versailles (about a 20 minute bus ride) for about 15 euros. You can choose a half day (9:00a.m. - 1:00p.m. or 2:00p.m. - 6:00p.m.) or a full day (9:00a.m. - 6:00p.m.).

If you have the time to spend, I would recommend the full day - between the palace, the gardens, the fountains and the Trianon, there is so much to see at Versailles that you can easily spend an entire day there. If you only have a half day to spare, you can still get some great photos and see the main attractions.

Tickets for adults are 13.50 euros - 25 euros, depending on the time of year and which elements of the Château de Versailles you want ot visit. Entry is free for everyone on the first Sunday of every month from October through March, and children under the age of 18 are always free.

For more information on tours and transportation, check out Versailles Palace Tours.

Bon voyage, and remember, as Mel Brooks said in The History of the World, Part I: "It's good to be the king!"

Check out these other Paris atractions for your next France vacation.

Chateau de Versailles, France

Le Petit Trianon, Versailles
Le Petit Trianon, Versailles | Source

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Sun-Girl profile image

      Sun-Girl 

      7 years ago from Nigeria

      Interesting and well written article which i enjoyed and learned reading from.

    • festersporling1 profile image

      Daniel Christian 

      7 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

      Wow. Awesome hub. I also can't WAIT to go to Paris again. I wrote one about the Eiffel Tower. It's been a looong time. https://hubpages.com/travel/Eiffel-Tower-Paris...

    • Mike's Corner profile imageAUTHOR

      Mike's Corner 

      7 years ago from Maryland

      Me too! :)

    • france1982 profile image

      france1982 

      7 years ago from Planet Earth

      This hub makes me wanna go Paris again...

    • Mike's Corner profile imageAUTHOR

      Mike's Corner 

      7 years ago from Maryland

      Thanks, Gma, glad you enjoyed the hub!

    • GmaGoldie profile image

      Kelly Kline Burnett 

      7 years ago from Madison, Wisconsin

      Wonderful! I want to visit! It is now on my radar! Fantastic hub - well written and great photos.

    • Mike's Corner profile imageAUTHOR

      Mike's Corner 

      7 years ago from Maryland

      Hey Goody5, okay I'm going to click your link, I hope I don't need to put my firesuit on first!

    • Goody5 profile image

      Goody5 

      7 years ago from Bohville, USA, Just below the Mason-Dixon line in the land of the pleasant living

      Hey Mike, I know you will want to see the hub where you started it all - http://hubpages.com/hub/News-Flash-The-New-Hub-Pag... Peace be with you

    • Mike's Corner profile imageAUTHOR

      Mike's Corner 

      7 years ago from Maryland

      Thanks Genna, rendezvous at 12:00, Hall of Mirrors!

    • Genna East profile image

      Genna East 

      7 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

      Fabulous hub. Your articles always make me want to jump on a plane and go there. Up and awesome.

    • Mike's Corner profile imageAUTHOR

      Mike's Corner 

      7 years ago from Maryland

      Thanks Crysto!

    • crystolite profile image

      Emma 

      7 years ago from Houston TX

      Mikes Corner,thanks for sharing this interesting hub of the chateau of versitlles.

    • Mike's Corner profile imageAUTHOR

      Mike's Corner 

      7 years ago from Maryland

      Thanks for stopping by, Susan, glad you enjoyed the hub!

    • Just Ask Susan profile image

      Susan Zutautas 

      7 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Beautiful Hub Mike really enjoyed it!

    • Mike's Corner profile imageAUTHOR

      Mike's Corner 

      7 years ago from Maryland

      Merci bien Zampano. Santé!

    • profile image

      zampano 

      7 years ago

      Nice job you've done here.

      Très bon boulot.

      Félicitations,Santé!

    • profile image

      zampano 

      7 years ago

      Vitoria ó muerte

    • Mike's Corner profile imageAUTHOR

      Mike's Corner 

      7 years ago from Maryland

      Certainly that is proving to be the case in the Middle East . . Vive la Liberte!

    • profile image

      zampano 

      7 years ago

      You must be the people then.

      Because l'état c'est le peuple.

    • Mike's Corner profile imageAUTHOR

      Mike's Corner 

      7 years ago from Maryland

      Salut Zampano . . . l'etat, c'est moi!

    • profile image

      zampano 

      7 years ago

      who are you ?

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)