The Royal Chapel

Versailles: The Palace of the Sun King

Tiếng Việt

Château de Versailles – France’s most iconic and extravagant palace – does not need an introduction. With nearly six million visitors each year, its fame is hard to overlook. The grandiose estate was built in the mid-17th century for Louis XIV – the Ruler of the French Empire.


About 22 kilometres south-west of central Paris, you will find yourself at the opulent gate of the Château de Versailles. Louis XIV, claimed as Le Roi Soleil (the Sun King), ordered to built this baroque château to demonstrate the absolute power of the French monarchy, which was at its height at the time. After its completion in 1682, the palace became the empire’s political capital and the seat of the royal court. Its role only faded when the French Revolution broke out in 1789.

Spreading over 63,000 m², the gigantic château contains about 2300 luxuriously decorated rooms and it required about 30,000 workers to complete. The most noteworthy chambers are the King’s State Apartments, the Royal Chapel, the Royal Opera House, and the opulence reaches its peak in the Hall of Mirror.

Château de Versailles
The Royal Chapel

Gardens of Versailles

The Versailles is surrounded by vast gardens covering some 800 hectares of land. Praised as the art of symmetry, the manicured garden is the masterpiece of landscape artist Andre Lé Nôtre in which terraces, flowerbeds, statues, tree-lined paths, ponds, and fountains are geometrically aligned.

Jardin du Château de Versailles
A corner in the Garden of Versailles

Estate of Trianon

A trip to Versailles might be incomplete without a visit to the Estate of Trianon. In an attempt to gain some brief respite from the rigid etiquette of the court, the kings of Versailles built themselves more intimate spaces close to the main palace. The Estate of Trianon is the home of the Grand Trianon, the Petit Trianon, and the Queen’s Hamlet. The estate is also called Domaine de Marie Antoinette because it is most closely associated with Queen Marie Antonette. Having trouble with adapting to life in court, the Queen retreated to Petite Trianon which she received as a gift from King Louis XVI. The estate was then become her own kingdom.

Temple de l’Amour at the Estate of Trianon

Practical Information about Versailles

  • Versailles is easily accessible from Paris by public transport. RER B – Station: Versailles Château – Rive Gauche.
  • A visit to Versailles requires patience. The crowd will reach its peak at noon resulting hours of waiting. Having a pre-purchase ticket only help you skip the queue at the ticket booth but it does not grant you immediate access to the palace.
  • Monday is closed. Tuesday, Sunday, as well as holidays, are the busiest days.
  • Some chambers, for example, the Royal Chapel, the Private Apartments of the Kings are only accessible when you join a guided tour. The tour takes around 90 minutes and costs 7€.
  • The estate of Trianon is located in the north-west of the palace garden. Just head straight to the Grand Canal, then turn right at Allée de la Reine. There are many signposts en route, thus it is not difficult to find.
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40 thoughts on “Versailles: The Palace of the Sun King”

  1. Arundhati Basu – New Jersey, US – The great affair in my life is to travel. I count myself immensely fortunate that my partner shares this passion. We are a team that likes to spend time planning and plotting out places to go. Destination check, flights check, accommodation check, cheesy grins check. Off we go.
    Dippy-Dotty Girl says:

    Beautiful photos, Len! However did you catch the royal chapel empty?

    1. Yes, it was completely empty! Although the room is only accessible for guided tours, you can still take a glimpse of it. Just need a little patience 🙂

      1. Arundhati Basu – New Jersey, US – The great affair in my life is to travel. I count myself immensely fortunate that my partner shares this passion. We are a team that likes to spend time planning and plotting out places to go. Destination check, flights check, accommodation check, cheesy grins check. Off we go.
        Dippy-Dotty Girl says:

        I was wondering that I did not get to see it. I racked my brains and realised I had not booked a guided tour. Everywhere else in that place is bloody crowded except for the Petit Trianon.

  2. Mel & Suan – Singapore – Mel works his day job for a living, but lives for antiquities, history and geography at all other times. He enjoys writing and thought sharing and obviously traveling. Suan is a homey person, who like girlie stuff such as cross stitching etc. Enjoys shopping & modeling for Mel. What a match!
    Mel & Suan says:

    Oh yes we think the palace is fabulous!
    It was perhaps the inspiration for many another European monarch to emulate!

    1. Absolutely! A typical example is the Sanssouci in Potsdam. It is said that the King of Prussia was inspired by Versailles, so he built a similar palace for himself with gardens, fountains, statues etc.

      1. Mel & Suan – Singapore – Mel works his day job for a living, but lives for antiquities, history and geography at all other times. He enjoys writing and thought sharing and obviously traveling. Suan is a homey person, who like girlie stuff such as cross stitching etc. Enjoys shopping & modeling for Mel. What a match!
        Mel & Suan says:

        Then Louis XIV achieved his aim!

  3. Nano @ Travels With Nano – Tokyo, Japan – Hi, I'm Nano! Welcome to my site! Travels With Nano is filled with everything I am passionate about: uncovering the world one sight, bite and cultural experience at a time. I'm here to share savvy travel tips and inspire (not influence!) your future travel adventures. Needless to say, I am thrilled to have you here reading!
    Nano @ Travel With Nano B. says:

    Gorgeous, Len! I was in Versailles once, but it was winder so nothing was as lush and colorful as in your photos. I definitely need to revisit Paris and the surrounds in summer, totally different scenes. <3

    1. I think you might consider visit the garden at night as well because there are water light shows and beautiful firework displays (on several days) during summer 🙂

      1. Nano @ Travels With Nano – Tokyo, Japan – Hi, I'm Nano! Welcome to my site! Travels With Nano is filled with everything I am passionate about: uncovering the world one sight, bite and cultural experience at a time. I'm here to share savvy travel tips and inspire (not influence!) your future travel adventures. Needless to say, I am thrilled to have you here reading!
        Nano @ Travel With Nano B. says:

        Will bear that in mind!

  4. Bama – Jakarta, Indonesia – Based in Jakarta, always curious about the world, always fascinated by ancient temples, easily pleased by food.
    Bama says:

    My stay in Paris was far too short so I didn’t have enough time to visit the Versailles. Thanks for the practicalities, I need to pay attention to the busy days for the palace. By the way, I just came back from your home country. It was my second time to Vietnam and this time I went to Da Nang, Hue, Hoi An and My Son. Loved everything about these places!

    1. I am happy to hear that! How long was you there? Did you make a vacation there or doing some research for the Spice Odyssey? I know Hoi An used to be an important port, but I don’t know whether it has anything to do with trading spice or not. I visited Hoi An when I was a kid, so I could not remember any historic details 🙂 Well, can’t wait to see your pictures of those cities!

      1. Bama – Jakarta, Indonesia – Based in Jakarta, always curious about the world, always fascinated by ancient temples, easily pleased by food.
        Bama says:

        I was in the region for eight days. It was only for vacation though. I went to Saigon six years ago, and since then I had been dreaming to go back to Vietnam to see its Cham ruins and old cities. So this trip has nothing to do with the Spice Odyssey — not directly. There will be five more posts from the Spice Odyssey series, and after that I’ll start writing about places I went to in the past year — Japan, Vietnam, Hong Kong and some places in Indonesia.

  5. Thanks for the virtual tour of Versailles! 🙂 The one time I was in Paris, I didn’t go there because it was too far and it was too cold (December) hehe. It does look impressive though! What a beautiful day as well.

    1. You welcome, Pooja! It was indeed a beautiful day. But it had a side effect: the crowd 🙁 We came at around 10:00 but there was already a long queue.

  6. SueT唐 梦 琇 – Canberra, Australia – I live in Australia's capital and spent three fantastic years in China and visited nearly every province, so I have decided to write about my travels and since commencing my blog I have also decided to write about some other world travels and eating at restaurants in Australia. (www.tangmengxiu.wordpress.com)
    SueT唐 梦 琇 says:

    Looks amazing. Canberra just had an exhibition of treasures from Versailles. First time ever. It was wonderful to see some of the beautiful items.

    1. Cool! What did they display there, like crowns, jewels, etc? 🙂 Thinking about it, I did not see such items at Versailles, just some sculptures, paintings and a golden carriage.

      1. SueT唐 梦 琇 – Canberra, Australia – I live in Australia's capital and spent three fantastic years in China and visited nearly every province, so I have decided to write about my travels and since commencing my blog I have also decided to write about some other world travels and eating at restaurants in Australia. (www.tangmengxiu.wordpress.com)
        SueT唐 梦 琇 says:

        There were chairs, paintings, a bird cage, some sculptures and one of the chandeliers.

  7. Amy – Photographer and Wordsmith at BedlamAndDaisies.com. Can be found out chasing those simple moments of beauty that are often found in the midst of chaos if one only looks closely. 'The universe is full of magical things patiently waiting for our wits to grow sharper.' -Eden Phillpotts
    bedlamanddaisies says:

    We found Versailles to be beautiful. We did not have enough time to get to see everything, but were amazed by what we did see. Lovely captures! 🙂

    1. Many thanks! I found Versailles amazing too. Did you have the chance to take a stroll in the garden? It must be lovely in spring 🙂

      1. Amy – Photographer and Wordsmith at BedlamAndDaisies.com. Can be found out chasing those simple moments of beauty that are often found in the midst of chaos if one only looks closely. 'The universe is full of magical things patiently waiting for our wits to grow sharper.' -Eden Phillpotts
        bedlamanddaisies says:

        We did stroll around the gardens. The Queen’s hamlet was my biggest interest and we made the trek there. Unfortunately, her house is undergoing renovations, but the rest of the area was lovely!

  8. Colline – http://collinesblog.wordpress.com – I am an educator, blogger, wife and mother. I enjoy reading, scrapbooking, crafting, photography, and spending time with my family.
    Colline says:

    This palace is well worth the visit. I have been there three times and enjoyed the venue each time.

    1. It is surely amazing! I was surprised by how beautiful the castle is. The surrounding lake is also worth visiting, especially on a sunny day 🙂

  9. Megha's World – I’m a mother of a smart and energetic seven-year-old. I started expressing myself creatively since the last two years. Since then I have been continuously inspired by events in my life and around me which has helped me in penning my thoughts. I’m an avid reader, loves to sing, an ardent lover of poetry and sometimes can scribble few lines too. Loves to dance in the rain, have an undying love for nature, can watch the beautiful sunset for hours. Love to kiss and hug my loved ones. I have worked in the IT field for almost a decade as a manager, worked crazy hours and traveled around the world. In that busy schedule, I never got the time to creatively express my thoughts. Now every time I finish a poem, free verse anything it fills me with so much happiness and excitement and a feeling to have created something of my own. I’m planning to post at least one creation of mine weekly. Lastly, a million thanks to all who visit, like or follow my tiny bits of creation. Every time you do that, I get to know one more beautiful person in my life and get the chance to see their creation too.
    Megha's World says:

    Beautiful pictures as always Len. I was about to say it looks very similar to the palaces in Potsdam, Germany then I saw some reader mentioning it. The garden spans acres and they are marvelous.

    The palace in Vienna Schönbrunn Palace has the same sunny tinge to it.

    1. Thanks Megha! 🙂 You are right both gardens share similarities. If I remember correctly, the architects who designed Schönbrunn and Sansoucci were inspired by Versailles.

      1. Megha's World – I’m a mother of a smart and energetic seven-year-old. I started expressing myself creatively since the last two years. Since then I have been continuously inspired by events in my life and around me which has helped me in penning my thoughts. I’m an avid reader, loves to sing, an ardent lover of poetry and sometimes can scribble few lines too. Loves to dance in the rain, have an undying love for nature, can watch the beautiful sunset for hours. Love to kiss and hug my loved ones. I have worked in the IT field for almost a decade as a manager, worked crazy hours and traveled around the world. In that busy schedule, I never got the time to creatively express my thoughts. Now every time I finish a poem, free verse anything it fills me with so much happiness and excitement and a feeling to have created something of my own. I’m planning to post at least one creation of mine weekly. Lastly, a million thanks to all who visit, like or follow my tiny bits of creation. Every time you do that, I get to know one more beautiful person in my life and get the chance to see their creation too.
        Megha's World says:

        Oh really..See you gave me one more travel trivia.

  10. Sreejith Nair – Kannur, Kerala – I am from the south indian state of kerala, and now living in Bangalore. My passion is travelling and photography.
    Sreejith Nair says:

    Beautiful images and very informative notes…
    It’s a huge effort in preparing the notes in two languages.
    Thank you so much for sharing

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