Outside of Paris, the Palace of Versailles is an ornate complex and former royal palace. Because of its architectural grandeur and political history, it has retained sway in the public mind for years.
The historic home served as a hunting lodge and personal retreat for Louis XIII (reigned 1610–43). The king commissioned Jacques Lemercier to build a château on the site in 1624. Its outside facade, which overlooks the Marble Court, has been intact.
The Place d’Armes is a large plaza to the east of the palace that is used mostly as a parking lot for the hundreds of tourists who visited Versailles each day in the twenty-first century.
If you’re looking for a luxurious place to learn about the history and spend your time in Paris, the Palace of Versailles might be the place for you. The edifice expanded and prospered beyond the little hunting house it was designed to be to the splendid and lavish château it is today, cemented as an official royal palace of the 17th century. Today’s post will focus on the history of the palace itself, as well as ten facts about Versailles that you may not be aware of.
The Palace of Versailles has a long and illustrious history.
The Palace of Versailles is a royal château erected in 1624 in what would ultimately become the city of Versailles. It was originally designed as a small hunting lodge, but it has since undergone significant expansions. The Palace of Versailles was created for King Louis XIV, who wanted to outdo the Vaux-le-Vicomte, which was erected for Nicolas Fouquet, the interim ruler of France at the time. Versailles became known as the symbol of France’s nobility.
King Louis XIV frequently invited aristocrats to stay at Versailles in order to weaken them and establish direct control of France. Despite the luxury and richness associated with the Palace, maintaining everything within it cost about a fourth of France’s national income. Don’t you think that’s a big commitment?
The Palace of Versailles: Facts
- Castle of Versailles is the name for it.
- The palace’s Hall of Mirrors includes a total of 357 mirrors.
- Everything that went into the construction and decoration of the Palace was made in France.
- Venice held a monopoly on mirror production at the time the palace was built. Venetian artisans were drawn to France to combat this.
- The Venetians ordered the mirror makers’ assassination after their secrets of mirror-making were divulged.
- Versailles went all out on the opulence in the palace, even using silver for the chamber pots.
- Both treaties of the Peace of Paris were signed at Versailles.
- The Treaty of Versailles, which ended World War I, was signed in the depths of the Hall of Mirrors.
- During the nineteenth century, the “Museum of the History of France” was established in Versailles.
- Versailles’ gardens were moreover 30,000 acres in size, with 400 sculptures and 1,400 fountains.
World Record (Guinness)
According to Guinness World Records, the Forbidden City is home to the “world’s largest palace.” With 2,152,782 square feet (200,000 m2) of floor space, the Istana Nurul Iman is the “world’s largest residential palace” in Brunei.
Is there a single ticket for the whole Estate? Where can I buy it?
The Passport ticket grants admission to the entire estate of Versailles including the palace, estate of Trianon (the Grand Trianon, the Petit Trianon and the Queen's Hamlet), the gardens and temporary exhibitions. The Passport ticket with timed entry grants admission to the whole Estate and guarantees access to the Palace within half an hour following the chosen time. It is sold for the same price as the Passport ticket (€20) except on Fountains show or Musical Gardens days, when it costs €27. A concessions ticket is available for €10 for people entitled to free entry (non-EU residents aged between 6 and 17 years and EU residents aged between 6 and 25 years, upon presentation of proof of eligibility at the ticket barriers). Please check whether you are entitled to free admission before buying your ticket. You can buy this ticket from our online ticket office or at the ticket offices at the Palace, the Grand Trianon or the Petit Trianon. NB: this ticket does not grant admission to the Night Fountains Show. Every ticket in one look
How much is a ticket for the Palace of versailles? Where can I buy it?
There are several types of ticket for the Palace of Versailles. Choose one according to how much time you have and the places you want to see. View all the tickets available here The Passport ticket with timed entry grants admission to the whole Estate and guarantees access to the Palace within half an hour following the chosen time. It is sold for the same price as the Passport ticket (€20) except on Musical Fountains Show or Musical Gardens days, when it costs €27. A concessions ticket is available for €10 for people entitled to free entry (non-EU residents aged between 6 and 17 years and EU residents aged between 6 and 25 years, upon presentation of proof of eligibility at the ticket barriers). The Palace ticket only grants admission to the Palace of Versailles. The full price ticket costs €18 and the concessions ticket costs €13. Please check whether you are entitled to free admission before buying your ticket. With the exception of the discounted Palace ticket, you can buy all these tickets online. You can buy all the tickets on site, at the Palace ticket office in the South Ministers' Wing (on the left of the Honour Courtyard). On Musical Fountains show and Musical Gardens days, if you only want to access the gardens, you can buy a ticket for the gardens online or on site. Tickets for guided tours cost €10 and must be purchased in addition to a Palace ticket or a Passport ticket. You will have direct access to the Palace during the dedicated time slot for your visit. At the end of your guided tour you can go directly to the unaccompanied visit of the Palace. You can buy tickets for a guided tour online or on site at the guided tour ticket office in the South Ministers' Wing (on the left of the Honour Courtyard). Tickets purchased online can be presented in a printed version or a digital format on your phone. If you are entitled to free admission, go directly to the entrance of the place you want to visit (Entrance A of the Palace, entrance of the Grand Trianon etc.) with your proof of entitlement and proof of ID. Every ticket in one look
Where can i buy the tickets? Do I have to buy them in advance?
Online booking: To save time, buy your tickets online. You can then go with your ticket directly to Entrance A of the Palace, without going to the ticket office first. NB: tickets purchased online do not grant priority admission. Buying tickets on-site: To buy a Passport ticket or a Palace ticket, go to the ticket office located on the left of the Honour Courtyard in the South Ministers' Wing. To book a guided tour, go to the dedicated area in the South Ministers' Wing, on the right of the Honour Courtyard. To buy an “Estate of Trianon” ticket, go to the ticket desks at the Grand Trianon or the Petit Trianon. To buy a ticket for the Musical Fountains Show or Musical Gardens, go to one of the garden entrances: via the Princes' Courtyard or via the Queen's Gate from the Park.
Where do I go if I bought my tickets online in advance?
Unaccompanied visit of the Palace: Visitors to the Palace must book in advance and select a specific time slot. We highly recommend that visitors pre-book their tickets online. Once you have booked your ticket online and printed it, go directly with your ticket to Entrance A of the Palace. Visitors eligible for free admission must pre-book online. If this is not possible, they may book a time slot directly at the South Minister Wing. Unaccompanied visit of the Estate of Trianon: Go directly to the Grand Trianon entrance or the Petit Trianon entrance with your ticket. Visiting the gardens: Admission to the gardens is included in the Passport ticket. NB: On Musical Fountains Show and Musical Gardens days, free admission to the gardens is only granted to children from 0 to 5 years old. If you are entitled to free admission to the Palace and the Estate of Trianon, the concessionary Passport ticket with timed entry (€10) grants priority admission to the Palace (according to the booked time) for non-EU residents between the ages of 6 and 17 and EU residents between the ages of 6 and 25 (upon presentation of proof of eligibility at the ticket barriers). It also includes admission to the Musical Fountains Show and the Musical Gardens. For admission to the gardens only, you can also buy tickets for the Musical Fountains Sho and the Musical Gardens online or at the entrance to the Gardens: via the Princes' Courtyard from the Palace or via the Queen's Gate from the Park. Guided tours: The guided tours reception at the Palace is located in the South Minister Wing (on the left of the Honour Courtyard). If you have booked a guided tour via the online ticket office, check where the tour starts and go directly to the indicated location.
What are the prices and benefits of the guided tours?
A guide from the Palace of Versailles will reveal less well-known areas, including some that are not accessible during unaccompanied visits. In addition, if you have booked a guided tour you will have direct access to the Palace at the dedicated time slot for your visit. At the end of your guided tour you can go directly to the unaccompanied visit of the Palace. Tickets for guided tours cost €10 and must be purchased in addition to a Palace ticket or Passport ticket. Guided tours are free for children under 10 years of age.
What are the accepted means of payment?
The following means of payment are accepted at the ticket desks: Cash Bank cheques payable in France EMV, JCB and AMEX debit/credit cards French “chèques vacances” Traveller's cheques Ticket desks are located in the South Ministers' Wing and at the Entrances to the Grand Trianon and Petit Trianon. The only means of payment accepted on the online ticket office, is the following debit/credit cards: Visa, Mastercard, E-carte Bleue, EMV, JCB and AMEX. Find out more about conditions for free admission and concessions.
Is there a charge for access to the Gardens on the days of Fountains Shows and Musicals Garden?
On days of Fountains Shows and Musical Gardens, there is a charge for access to the Gardens, except for children from 0 to 5 years old. The Passport tickets (€27 - €10 reduced rate* or €30) include the Musical Fountains Shows or the Musical Gardens. *If you benefit from free admission for the Palace and the Trianon Estate, the reduced rate of the Passport with timed entry (10 euros) allows access to the Fountains Shows or the Musical Gardens, and a priority access to the Palace (according to the schedule). Fountains shows offer in one look
Do i need a ticket if I am entitled to free admission?
Yes, even if you have a free ticket you must book a time-stamped ticket. To do this, book the slot of your choice online and select the free ticket option. See all conditions for free admission.