Park of Palace of Versailles

Park at The Palace of Versailles

The Palace of Versailles, also known as Château de Versailles, is a magnificent royal residence located in Versailles, France. The palace was originally built as a hunting lodge in the 17th century, but it was later expanded and transformed into an opulent palace by King Louis XIV, also known as the Sun King. Today, the Palace of Versailles is one of the most famous and visited attractions in France, attracting millions of visitors each year.

The palace is located just 20 kilometers southwest of Paris and is easily accessible by train or car. The palace complex includes the main palace building, several beautiful gardens, and a large park. The park is one of the largest in Europe and covers an area of over 800 hectares. It is home to numerous fountains, canals, lakes, and gardens, making it a popular destination for both locals and tourists.

The Grand Canal

The Grand Canal is undoubtedly one of the most striking features of the Palace of Versailles. It is a massive body of water that stretches for over 5 kilometers and is lined with stunning gardens and fountains. The canal was originally built in the early 1660s by Louis XIV's landscape architect, André Le Nôtre, as part of his overall design for the gardens. The Grand Canal was designed to be a visual centerpiece of the garden and was intended to be used for boating and other recreational activities.

At the time of its construction, the Grand Canal was the largest body of water in the gardens, and it remains so today. The canal is over 60 meters wide and features a number of fountains and statues, including the Bassin de Neptune, which is located at the southern end of the canal. The Bassin de Neptune is a large fountain that features a statue of Neptune, the Roman god of the sea, surrounded by several other mythological figures. The Grand Canal is a popular attraction for visitors to the Palace of Versailles. It is possible to rent a rowboat or a pedal boat to explore the canal and enjoy the surrounding gardens. There are also several walking paths that run alongside the canal, allowing visitors to take a leisurely stroll while enjoying the beautiful scenery.

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Lake Of The Swiss Guard

Another notable body of water in the gardens of the Palace of Versailles is the Lake of the Swiss Guard. This small lake is located near the Grand Trianon, a pink marble palace that was built by Louis XIV as a private retreat. The lake is named after the Swiss Guard, a group of soldiers who have been responsible for the security of the palace since the 18th century.

The Lake of the Swiss Guard is relatively small, measuring just over 70 meters in length and 50 meters in width. Despite its size, the lake is a popular spot for visitors to the gardens. The lake is surrounded by lush vegetation and features several small islands, adding to its charm and beauty.

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Rivulet Of Gally

The Rivulet of Gally is another body of water that is worth exploring in the gardens of the Palace of Versailles. This small stream runs through the gardens, connecting several smaller bodies of water and adding to the overall beauty of the landscape. The Rivulet of Gally is named after the nearby village of Gally, which was once known for its fruit orchards and vegetable gardens.

The Rivulet of Gally is relatively narrow, measuring just a few meters in width. However, it is an important element of the garden's design, as it provides a naturalistic element to the otherwise formal and geometric landscape. The stream is lined with lush vegetation, including willow trees, reeds, and water lilies, creating a serene and tranquil atmosphere.

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Know Before You Go to Palace of Versailles Parks

Essential Information

Opening Hours of the Park: The Park is open every day, year-round, from 8:00 AM until sunset. However, the opening hours may vary depending on the season, so it is advisable to check the official website before planning your visit.

Best time to Visit the Park: Visit the park during the spring and summer months, from April to October. The gardens are in full bloom during this time, and visitors can enjoy the vibrant colors and fragrant scents of the flowers. The musical fountains show, which features music and water displays in the garden, also takes place during this time. However, it is important to note that these months can be crowded and lines can be long. For a quieter experience, consider visiting in the fall or winter months when there are fewer tourists, although some parts of the garden may be closed during this time. It is also recommended to visit on weekdays rather than weekends to avoid crowds.

How to get to The Park:

  • By Bus: Take the bus from Paris to Versailles and get off at the Versailles Château stop. The park is a short walk from there.
  • By Train: Take the RER C train from Paris to the Versailles Rive Gauche station. The park is a 10-minute walk from there.
  • By Car: Take the A13 highway from Paris and follow the signs to Versailles. The park has several parking lots available.

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The Palace and Park of Versailles are accessible to visitors with disabilities. There are paved pathways throughout the park, and most of the garden areas are wheelchair accessible. However, some of the historical buildings and areas may have limited accessibility due to stairs or narrow doorways. Visitors with disabilities can request a wheelchair or electric scooter rental at the entrance of the park. There are also accessible restrooms available throughout the park. Additionally, visitors with disabilities can bring a companion with them for free, and the palace offers reduced admission fees for visitors with disabilities.

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FAQs of Versailles

Which are the best places to visit in Palace of Versailles for families?

  • The Grand Trianon: Built in 1687, the Grand Trianon is a picturesque palace that served as a private retreat for French monarchs. It features a beautiful rose garden and a charming pond.
  • The Petit Trianon: A smaller palace built in 1762, the Petit Trianon was the personal residence of Queen Marie Antoinette. Visitors can tour the elegant interiors and stroll through the surrounding gardens.
  • The Queen's Hamlet: A rustic village built in the 18th century for Queen Marie Antoinette, the Queen's Hamlet includes a farm, a mill, and several thatched-roof cottages. It's a delightful spot for a picnic or a leisurely walk.
  • The Gardens of Versailles: The expansive Gardens of Versailles offer a multitude of attractions, including fountains, sculptures, and several smaller palaces. Families can rent bicycles or take a tour on a horse-drawn carriage

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How do you get to the Palace and park of Versailles?

The Park of Versailles can be reached by public transportation or by car. Visitors can take the RER C train from Paris to the Versailles-Château-Rive Gauche station. From there, it's a short walk to the Palace and the Park. If driving, there is parking available for a fee.

How big is the Park of Versailles?

The Park of Versailles covers over 800 hectares, making it one of the largest public parks in Europe. It features numerous gardens, sculptures, fountains, and smaller palaces.

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What are the main apartments to explore in the palace of Versailles?

The Palace of Versailles has several apartments that visitors can explore, each with its unique style and history. Here are some of the main apartments in Palace of Versailles that you should consider visiting:

  1. King's Grand Apartment: This series of rooms was the private living quarters of the king. The King's Grand Apartment consists of seven rooms, each decorated in a different color and theme. Highlights include the Council Chamber, the Bedchamber, and the Bull's Eye Salon.
  2. Queen's Grand Apartment: Located opposite the King's Grand Apartment, the Queen's Grand Apartment was the private living quarters of the queen. The Queen's Grand Apartment consists of seven rooms, each decorated in a different color and theme. Highlights include the Queen's Bedchamber, the Queen's Guard Room, and the Queen's Antechamber.
  3. Gallery of Battles: This long gallery showcases 33 paintings of famous battles in French history. The Gallery of Battles was commissioned by King Louis-Philippe in the 19th century and serves as a tribute to French military prowess.

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Are there guided tours available for the Park of Versailles?

Yes, guided tours of the Park of Versailles are often available for visitors who want to learn more about the history, architecture, and landscaping of the gardens. These tours can be arranged through the official website or at the entrance to the park.

Is there transportation available within the park?

The park's vastness may require some walking to explore, but there are also options for transportation within the park, such as rental bicycles and electric golf carts.

Can I visit the Park of Versailles separately from the Palace?

Yes, the Park of Versailles and the Palace of Versailles are separate entities. Visitors can access and enjoy the park without purchasing tickets for the interior of the palace. However, the palace interior requires a separate ticket for entry.


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