Discover the Palace of Versailles
I was actually playing an RTS game, when I met a guy with a character name, “Legnakrad Le Versailles;” his last name actually caught my attention. I randomly asked him where did he derive that name from. He actually said, “I am a fan of this Japanese metal band named Versailles, which was originated from a manor house in Île-de-France region of France.” His statement alone piqued my interest, not with the band, but with the manor house. Why would they use a royal château as a name for their band?
Today, we’ll be exploring not the mainstream stuff about France. Let us see the beauty of this country house of nobility. Feed your brains; discover the Palace of Versailles!
If you want to discover the Palace of Versailles, then you shouldn’t miss the most famous room, also known as the Grande Galerie. A 75-meter-long ballroom with 17 huge mirrors on one side and, on the other, an equal number of arcaded windows looking out over the formal gardens.
This same room later witnessed one of the defining moments of 20th-century European history when the Treaty of Versailles, ending the First World War, was signed within its walls in June 1919.
A garden which actually took 40 years to complete. Europe’s quintessential royal residence was the principal home of French kings from Louis XIV to Louis XVI. One of the most special aspects of the gardens is the 50 fountains which act as focal points, enhancing the geometrical design.
The garden alone gives a pleasurable visit. This can be spent simply perusing paths and admiring fountains and flowers without setting foot inside the palace or Versailles’ other notable buildings.
The incredible array of pink marble buildings was built in 1687 by the famous architect Mansart, as a tranquil getaway from court life for Louis XIV. Setting the benchmark for Italianate garden conservatory design, the elegantly long and low palace of pink marble and porphyry features geometrically-ordered rows of columns and windows, topped by a balustrade roof.
While the Grand Trianon is open to the public, it is also an official residence of the French President.
One of the best ways to learn several facts about the Palace of Versailles is through their official site. The site alone provides information categorized by The Palace, The Garden, The Grand Trianon, and Marie-Antoinette’s Estate. Information about the history and updates about the château’s news, subscription, and admission are also shown here. What’s more? An interactive map optimized for tablets and smartphones is accessible on the official site.
How to Get There
Versailles is some 10 miles (16 kilometers) from Paris, and is easily accessible by car (parking available), taxi, bus, or train. The RER C line links central Paris with the Versailles Rive Gauche station — five minutes from the palace on foot. Trains also run from Paris Montparnasse to Versailles Chantiers and from Paris Saint Lazare to Versailles Rive-Droite, each a ten-minute walk from the palace. The RATP bus 171 runs from Pont de Sèvres metro station to Versailles.
When to Visit
There’s no bad season to visit Versailles, but its extensive gardens are at their best in spring and summer. While the gardens and park remain accessible, the buildings of Versailles are closed on Mondays.
Ticket and Rates
There are actually several ticket rates offered for different services for the Palace of Versailles, which are the following: a passport, 2-day passport, and the Palace ticket. To see the tickets’ descriptions and services, click here.
Pro Tip: If you’re planning to Discover the Palace of Versailles in France, make sure to do your research first; also try looking to book your flights using online travel agencies as they tend to, on average, reduce airfare costs by about 43%, a few good ones being Flighthub.com, Travelocity.com, JustFly.com or Expedia.com.