ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

The Palace Of Versailles History

Updated on March 25, 2010
Entire rivers were diverted to fuel the fountains at Versailles
Entire rivers were diverted to fuel the fountains at Versailles
Part of the front Facade
Part of the front Facade
Front gate to the Palace entrance
Front gate to the Palace entrance
Versailles of Old
Versailles of Old

The Palace Of Versailles History

17Kms S/W of Paris

Built in 1631, this fabulous palace was originally Louis XIII’s modest hunting lodge, set in the relatively poor and barren area of Versailles.

When Louis XIV revealed his plans to move his entire court here around 1682, building began in earnest.  Over 800 rooms were added along with North and South wings.  Over 36,000 workmen and 6,000 horses were used during the construction of the Palace, which covers 37,000 acres and had 1400 fountains.

At it’s height, the Palace accommodated 20,000 people, including 9,000 soldiers and 5,000 servants.

The builders wanted desperately to pull down the hunting lodge but Louis was adamant it should remain.

The land had originally been swampy marshland and pockets of quicksand and poor air quality accounted for many deaths, with wagons of dead labourers being hauled away under cover of darkness.

The chief landscaper - Le Notre - created fantastical gardens, transplanting forests from nearby Normandie and importing over 50,000 bulbs from Istanbul.

He had a canal system built - even bringing in gondoliers from Venice to ferry the King and his nobles through the gardens on lazy Sunday afternoons!

Louis began to believe he was a god - “le roi soleil” (the Sun God) - and conducted his life in full public view.  A typical day for Louis XIV began with a kiss form the nurse who watched over him at night.  After a rub down and change of clothes, the royal barber would present the royal wigs for that day and then another servant would wash his hands in fine wine before presenting him for breakfast.  This was an extravagant meal with leading clergy and nobility in attendance, washed down with champagne.  At 10am he would attend mass, then conduct business until lunch at 1pm.  The afternoon would be spent hunting, or occasionally a picnic with favoured ladies of the court.

Louis’s wife even gave birth in public!!

To escape the “pressures” of court life Louis had a small palace - the “Grand Trianon” - built in the gardens, a favourite meeting place for him and Madame de Maintenon, his long term mistress.

A second “petit Trianon” was added by Louis XV and became Marie Antoinette’s favoured hideaway.  Here she is rumoured to have dressed up sheep in female attire and served them afternoon tea (!).  Perhaps in such a state of mind, her immortal words, “let them eat cake” don’t seem as callous as they otherwise sound ?

“Versailles taught Europe the art of high living, good manners & well-bred behaviour..., the secret of being rather than merely seeming”, wrote Pierre Caxotte  - and certainly Louis’ court was the standard by which all others were measured.

The most famous room is the “Hall of Mirrors” - 75 m long x 10m wide one wall was entirely made up of 17 mirrors onto which the rising morning sun would shine directly, with 10 chandeliers running the length of the room.

My name is Robee Kann, for four years I was a tour guide throughout Europe. I loved my job and I would love to hear from you. You are most welcome to message me to say hello or request a hub about a European subject. Please look at my other hubs and leave a comment for me.


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, 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:

Show Details
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 or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
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)
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.
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)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)