Important Takeaways The Palace of Versailles was built in 1624 as a basic two-story hunting lodge. The Sun King, King Louis XIV, spent over 50 years constructing the palace before relocating both the royal house and the French center of government to Versailles in 1682. The original building was expanded many times after that, with the most recent addition being the Grand Trianon in 1820.
The palace is now a museum open to visitors who can explore eight magnificent rooms, each one filled with luxury goods from the time they were first installed. There are also gardens and parks to wander around in addition to a zoo, a horse farm, and a golf course. The whole place is really huge!
Originally, the palace was going to be called "Versailles City" but it was decided not to since Paris already had its own city named after it. Instead, the king wanted to call his new residence "a village within the town limits," but again, he changed his mind at the last minute. So, it is now known as the Palace of Versailles instead.
There have been attempts over the years to destroy parts of the palace site to make way for commercial development but they have all failed so far.
Louis XIV governed France for 72 years and renovated Versailles by encircling Louis XIII's château with a palace with north and south wings, as well as surrounding structures holding ministries. Versailles was designed to wow. It is said that one can see the entire country from its gardens.
The king wanted a grand palace where he could live in luxury like no other monarch had before him. He hired French architects to design the palace and brought in skilled craftsmen from all over Europe to work on it. The result was a magnificent building full of state-of-the-art technology at the time.
Although the original plans called for a modest residence, Louis XIV changed his mind and decided to build a palace fit for a king. The architect Jules Hardouin-Mansart was given charge of designing the palace. Hardouin-Mansart was known for his innovative use of water features and his understanding of royal architecture. He incorporated many features that would not be seen again until the 19th century when they were revived by the designers of Parisian parks and gardens.
Hardouin-Mansart's main influence at Versailles was the Italian Renaissance style of architecture. But he also knew how to impress a king: he designed a palace that was larger than any other built up to that time.
The Palace of Versailles has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site for the last 30 years, and it is considered one of the finest triumphs in French 17th-century art. The palace now has 2,300 rooms distributed on 63,154 m2. The French Revolution led Louis XVI to flee Versailles for Paris in 1789. The former royal residence was then occupied by the National Assembly and later by the French President. In 1845, Charles X fled Paris for Saint-Maximin-la-Sainte-Baume in the south of France where he was imprisoned by the Parliamentarians.
Today, the palace houses the Royal Museum of Versailles with exhibits that highlight the history of the kingdom of France. Other than visiting the palace, tourists can see other famous buildings such as the Church of Saint-Louis-de-France and the Trianon Park. The park was built for the 1922 World's Fair but it remains today as a beautiful public space with trees, gardens, and museums.
In addition, there are many shops and restaurants at the palace. Visitors can enjoy a meal in the palace restaurant or have a drink in a café located on site. There is also a visitor center at the palace with an exhibition room that displays items related to the life of King Louis XVI and Queen Marie Antoinette.
Versailles is about 50 minutes by train from Paris.
By constructing Versailles, Louis transferred the French government's seat away from the bickering, gossiping, and trouble-making noble families of Paris. He had the entire palace and its sprawling grounds built on an East-West axis so that the sun would rise and set in sync with his residence. This allowed him to watch its glow across his gardens at night.
The palace is a magnificent example of the High Renaissance style. It features giant balls of stone held up by thin columns, elaborate plasterwork, and huge windows with beautiful stained glass panels. The interior design is equally impressive with its large rooms full of marble and bronze statues and paintings on the walls.
Outside the front of the palace are eight great avenues known as "parks" which run in straight lines from north to south. These provide space for royal hunting parties to exercise their dogs or horses without interfering with traffic on the roads outside the park boundaries. Each avenue is named after a member of the French royal family: Louis, Charles, Philippe, Jean, Marie, Ferdinand, Elizabeth, and Albert.
In addition to being a luxurious home and hotel, Versailles has served as a hospital, military camp, and now it is again used as a residence by the French president.
It is estimated that 2,000 people worked on the project over four years (1670-74).
The Chateau de Versailles was established as a hunting lodge for King Louis XIII in the 17th century. King Louis XIV (his son) chose to relocate his court from Paris to Versailles because he thought Paris was too dangerous for him and his family. The move of the court to Versailles was very important for Louis XIV, since it meant that he could control everything that went on there.
There were many reasons why Louis XIV decided to move his court from Paris to Versailles. First of all, he wanted to protect his family from the political turmoil of the time. Secondly, he wanted to get away from the corruption of the French capital city. Last but not least, he wanted to transform Versailles into a beautiful town similar to Brussels or Amsterdam.
When Louis XIV died in 1715, his two-year-old son became king as Louis XV. However, it didn't take long before people started to call him "the little monarch" because he was such a frail child. In addition, there was another child who was stillborn who they called "Louis XVI". So, only three children survived their father with Louis XV being the second youngest at just five years old. This means that the crown prince, Louis Auguste, became king as Louis XVI at the age of six.
The Residence of Versailles is a French royal palace in the Ile de France area, about 15 miles south-west of Paris, France, that was erected in the late 1600s for King Louis XIV. The Palace of Versailles took the labor of around 3000 workers to develop the structure and gardens. It was one of the most ambitious building projects in history.
The plans for the palace were drawn up by the king's architect, Le Vau, but they were based on designs created by another artist named Claude Perrault. There are also drawings that show an earlier version of the palace with even more towers and decorations. In fact, the first stone was not laid until 1664, almost 10 years after Le Vau died. His role was mainly technical, since he was an expert in artillery design and construction. The king wanted his new palace to be as powerful as possible so it could awe its enemies and make him feel like a real ruler.
The palace was designed to reflect the power and glory of the Sun-King, Louis XIV. Its main axis is called the "Grand Carreé", or "Great Road", which connects the different parts of the garden. This avenue was originally lined with large trees (some of which still exist today) that stood between geometric lawn plots divided by small streams and filled with flowers. At the end of the Grand Carreé is the Temple of Glory, where the king could honor his soldiers and builders.