A top royal destination: Palace of Versailles near Paris, France


painting of the Château de Versailles
Source picture: Wikipedia


Versailles entrance Gate - Paris, France
own picture taken in 2017

The royal palace of all palaces certainly is Versailles, located near
Paris in France.

Versailles France



Some royal history

At the very beginning the site of the palace of Versailles was
occupied by a small village and church, surrounded by forests.
It was owned by the Gondi Family and the priory of St. Julian.

In 1589, King Henry IV of France went hunting here and he
came back in 1604 and 1609. He stayed in the village inn.

Henry's son, the future King Louis XIII, came on his own hunting
trip in 1607. After he became King in 1610 Louis XIII returned
to the village and he bought some land.

Versailles France

In 1623-1624 Louis XIII built a modest two-story hunting lodge
which was the site of the current marble courtyard. Later Louis XIII
decided to make his hunting lodge at Versailles into a real château of
brick and stone.

In 1651 Louis XIV visted the château of Versailles on a hunting trip.
In 1661 he decided to rebuild and enlarge the château and to transform
it in the current setting.

Louis XIV died in 1715 and the new King Louis XV, just 5 years old,
was moved temporarily from Versailles to Paris under the regency of
Philippe II, Duke of Orléans.

In 1722 when the King came of age, he moved his residence and the
government back to Versailles where it remained until the
French Revolution in 1789.

Versailles, France interior own picture taken in 2017


Louis XVI had troubles by the worsening financial situation of the
Kingdom from making major changes to the palace. He focused
primarily on the improvement to the royal appartments.

In 1774, Louis XVI gave his wife, Queen Marie-Antoinette the
Petit Trianon. It was the Queen who made extensive changes to the
interior of the Palace of Versailles. The Queen was at the Petit
Trianon when she first heard of the beginning of the French Revolution
in 1789.

In 1793, the Convention, the new revolutionary government
declared the abolition of the monarchy and ordered that all the royal
property in the Palace should be sold at auction. This took place
between 25 August 1793 and 11 August 1794.

In 1804, Napoleon Bonaparte became emperor of the French.

Versailles France Interior 



In 1815, Louis XVII ,the younger brother of Louis XVI, became
King and he returned to the royal residence of Versailles, where he
had been born. He ordered the restoration of the royal apartments,
but this costed too much. Neither he nor his successor Charles X
lifed at Versailles.

In 1830, another French revolution took place. King Louis-Philippe
became the new ruler of France. His reign ended in 1848.

Emperor Napoleon III used the Palace of Versailles on occasion
as a stage for grand ceremonies. On 25 August 1855, Queen Victoria
of the United Kingdom was invited to a banquet in the
Royal Opera of Versailles.

On 18 January 1871, the creation of the German Empire took place
at Versailles (The Germans remained in the Palace until the signing
of the armistice in March 1871).

Versailles France, Bedroom


In June 1919 the Treaty of Versailles formally ended World War I.
This important document was signed in the Hall of Mirrors.

In 1957, the Royal Opera of Versailles was reopened in the presence
of Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom.

Nowadays the palace is listed as UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Versailles France, gardens



A visit

I visited the royal palace of Versailles in 2017. It is easibly reachable
with the train from Paris Gare du Nord.

One good tip, buy your tickets in advance! That will save you some
time.

I had to wait a very long time to enter the palace of Versailles
(2h30 à 3 hours), which is actually the longest I've ever waited
for in my life.

Perhaps it's better to buy a ticket with a 'skip the line tour'. I think it's
worth the money.

Nevertheless it was well worth the wait.


Versailles Gardens 

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