The Chateau de Versailles The Chateau de Versailles

Versailles Palace

Chateau de Versailles was built in the 17th century and is one of the largest and most grandiose palaces in the whole world. The grand example of 18th century French art and architecture was added to the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 1979. Every year tourist from all over the world come here to enjoy fine art and to delve into the fascinating history of the kings of France.
Versailles sits about 20 kilometers outside of Paris. It began as Louis XIII’s hunting lodge that was built in 1623. Later, his son, King Louis XIV started to build a royal palace in place of this lodge; because he worked hard on this project, in 1682 it become the official residence of the Sun King and his Court, replacing the Louvre and Saint-Germain Castles, which gave a grand statement of monarchical power.  He built this castle for the people, the doors of his house were open for all who wanted make a visit.
The palace was designed by the architect Jules Hardouin Mansart and the luxuriant gardens by Andre Le Notre who also designed the gardens at Fontainbleau Chateau. He designed the garden to include numerous jets, fountains, waterfalls, many statues and sculptures, water parterres, and formal gardens, which has turned this into the most famous garden in the world. The garden covers an area of 100 hectares.
In 1710 was built one of the last parts of the palace under Jules Hardouin Mansart and Robert de Cotte, it is about The Chapel - one of the architectural highlights of the famous Versailles. Other later additions such as the Petit Trianon and The Hameau was given to Marie-Antoinette in 1774. The Hameau was designed in 1785 as a stage village, there Marie-Antoinette used to play with her friends.

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The Chateau de Versailles castle boasts 700 rooms, 2,513 windows, 67 staircases, over 1,200 fireplaces and also includes the 75m Galerie des Glaces, otherwise known as the Hall of Mirrors, where the Treaty of Versailles was signed in 1919, signifying the end of World War I.
In 1830 the King Louis-Philippe decided to convert the beautiful palace into a museum of French History, dedicated to all of France's glories, there are only victories depicted and not any defeats. The Chapel, the Opera, and the Hall of Mirrors were preserved but many smaller apartments were destroyed to make room for spacious exhibition halls. Today much of the interior of this spectacular palace can be visited.
The interior speaks about the immense luxury and magnificence of the Chateau. The vast amount and the quality of depictions by famous artists through its paintings, sculptures, tapestries and furniture makes the Chateau de Versailles an outstanding portrait museum with the very best of Italian and French artists of the time being shown.The notable rooms include:
  • The Hall of Mirrors is the central gallery of the Palace of Versailles and is renowned as being one of the most famous rooms in the world. The main feature of the hall is the seventeen mirrored arches that reflect the seventeen arcaded windows which look out onto Versailles equally- magnificent garden. The Hall of Mirrors has always played an important role in history including in 1919, as the First World War officially ended when Germany signed the Treaty of Versailles in this hall.
  • Chapel of Versailles is the fifth in the history of the palace. It features a tribune on the same level as the royal apartments, overlooking the nave, where the kings would sit when they attended mass. The architecture is a combination of Gothic and Baroque.
  • The Grand Apartment was King Louis XIV's apartment. While the entire apartment and all its salons are amazing, most notable are the ceilings, painted by Painter to the King, Charles Le Brun and his team of artists.
  • Royal Opera is fashioned entirely from wood, making it one of the most acoustically live theaters in the world. Gold, pink, and green dominate the decor for the Opera. It was first used for the wedding ball of future king Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette and boasts a unique mechanical system. Today, it is still used for concerts and operas.
This chateau, full of luxury, history and art is definitely well worth visiting, for sure you will not be disappointed!
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