- Palace of Versailles is the the best rated tourist attraction in France.
The hunting lodge of Louis XIII. was located in Versailles, a small suburb of Paris. In the period from 1677 until the outbreak of the French Revolution, the palace used to be the permanent residence of the French royal family and thus accommodated the entire court counting more than thousand members. At its period of bloom, Versailles was the cultural and political hub of France.
The construction of Versailles used up a total amount of € 100 million if we were to convert the sum into a modern day currency. Ever since it was built it embodied the definite representation of the French power structure. Architecturally, it was ahead of other comparable European royal buildings due to its numerous luxurious bath rooms.
History was written at Versailles even after the French Revolution. In 1871 Prussian King Wilhelm I. had his coronation here and in 1919 the peace treaty of Versailles was signed in the Hall of Mirrors, officially ending WWI.
In 1789 the palace contained 288 complete flats, 1,252 heatable rooms and 600 further rooms without fireplaces. Due to this capacity it wasn't difficult to accommodate an entire court in the Palace of Versailles. After the French Revolution, the palace remained uninhabited and only poorly maintained. Nowadays, certain parts of the palace have been turned into a museum, for instance, showing an exhibition about French-German history.
Visit the palace
Since 1979 the Palace of Versailles has been a listed UNESCO world heritage site and was made accessible to the public. To visit the whole area one might require an entire day, as the park of the palace alone is about 800ha large.
How to get there
By public transport
In Paris you can get on the RER line C taking you straight to Versailles. If you decide to take a train, then make sure you leave at the station “Versailles – Rive Droite”. Alternatively, you can get here by using bus line 171.
Of course you can travel here by car too. Just use the A13, take the exit at Versailles and follow the signs leading you to the palace. On-site, there are numerous parking facilities. Try to leave your car at Place d'Armes or Petite Venise, as these car parks are located quite close to the palace.