Discovering the Palace of Versailles Part I - The Palace

Place d'Armes, Palace of Versailles, 78000 Versailles, France
Palace of Versailles, Paris Trip, Europe trip
Our trip to the Palace of Versailles was one of the highlights of our stay in Paris. I had doubts about visiting because of the negative comments which is mostly about the frustrating crowd I heard or read from others but it turned out to be one of the best part of our entire trip to Europe. The Palace is surely one of the most beautiful places I've ever seen. It is well worth a visit as it is fascinating with incredibly wonderful buildings and gardens (I'll talk about the gardens on my next travel post) with spectacular fountains and statues steeped in history. If you're looking for an astounding place filled with art, beauty and wealth, you shall visit the palace. History lovers will surely love a tour! In 1979, UNESCO designated the Château de Versailles a World Heritage site because of the historical events that are associated with it. A visit to the palace will  surely render you tired but in a good way. :) 
Palace of Versailles, Paris Trip, Europe trip
The king behind this grandeur, King Louis XIV also known as the Sun King! The palace was his home during his reign. He wanted the palace to be a vast place like no other. Build to impress was his motto and the Palace of Versailles became the most extravagant place in France!

Palace of Versailles, Paris Trip, Europe trip
Here's me! All smiles and excited. 
On this picture, you don't see that many people anymore because the crowd subsided in the afternoon. It's not the common thing to do but we explored the gardens and the other smaller chateaux (Grand Trianon, Petit Trianon and Marie Antoinette's Hamlet) that are part of the estate before the main palace. We brought food for lunch and knew that we wouldn't be allowed to bring it inside. Fortunately, they allow visitors to bring food so that people can have a picnic in the garden and we happily did. We greatly enjoyed our time in the other parts of the estate but we made sure to make have enough time for the main structure. 

Here are some helpful information: 

Train: Take the RER line C5 to Versailles Rive Gauche. It’s about a 30 minute ride and a few minutes walk to the palace.

Tickets:  We bought a 1 Day Passport ticket which includes admission to the Palace, the Palaces of Trianon and the Estate of Marie-Antoinette as well as the gardens. Normally, a passport ticket will cost 18 but we paid €25 each because it includes the Musical Fountain Shows or Musical Gardens (from April to October).
Palace only: 15
2-day Passport: 30 € with 1 or 2 days of Musical Fountain Shows or Musical Gardens (April to October) or  25 €( November to March) 

Opening Times: The Estate of Versailles is open everyday except Mondays. Make sure to come early and purchase your tickets in advance. You can buy it online and print the tickets before going to Paris.
Palace: 9.00 am - 6.30 pm
Trianon Palaces and Marie-Antoinette's Estate: 12.00 pm - 6.30 pm
Garden (everyday): 8.00 am - 8.30 pm

Food and Beverages: You can always visit the palace in a more traditional way, the palace first before anything else and not worry about the  food when you get hungry after your visit.  The are many food stands that are distributed throughout the gardens!

Palace of Versailles, Paris Trip, Europe trip
Palace of Versailles, Paris Trip, Europe trip
Palace of Versailles, Paris Trip, Europe trip
Palace of Versailles, Paris Trip, Europe trip
A peek of the garden from one of the windows in the palace. You'll see why the entire estate is an epitome of an extraordinary place, the garden is massive!
The whole palace screams luxury! No wonder why the French people revolted against the monarchy! The royal family was living so lavishly while so many common people were in poverty. It was just too much opulence that will blow someone's mind away. The architecture of the palace is so beautiful and the interior designs are so intricate. The bedrooms of the royal family were so extravagance. We didn't take that many pictures because of the lighting inside (not so good for photography). 
Palace of Versailles, Hall of mirrors, Paris Trip, Hall of Mirrors

Palace of Versailles, Hall of mirrors, Paris Trip, Hall of Mirrors

Palace of Versailles, Hall of mirrors, Paris Trip
The Hall of mirrors is probably the most popular part of the palace. 
The Hall of Mirrors also known as La Grande Galerie is decorated with gold furnishings, painted ceilings, beautiful chandeliers and mirrored walls. The King Louis XIV used it as a passageway from his apartment to the chapel. It was also used as a receiving room for visiting aristocrats as well as a hall for celebrations. A historical thing that happened in the Hall of Mirrors is the signing of Treaty of Versailles when WWI came to its official end. 

Palace of Versailles, Hall of mirrors, Paris Trip, Hall of Mirrors
This  painting of Marie Antoinette and her children by Madame Élisabeth-Louise Vigée-Le Brun in 1786.

                         Excuse my squinty eyes, I wanted to show you the golden gate of the Palace.

Our visit to the Estate of Versailles was truly a memorable experience! You have to plan on spending a day or even more because there is so much to see, it's a wonderfully worthwhile day trip when in Paris. Get on the train to Versailles as early as possible to have more time to visit the whole palace properly. And also, find some time to learn the history of the place before going, it just makes the visit more special. :) You can watch a movie or read a book. I personally love the movie Marie Antoinette by Sofia Coppola. I can't wait to show you the gardens on my next posts. The garden and the smaller châteaux are so enchanting!

Here's another travel post: PARIS TRIP: WE DIDN'T GO UP THE EIFFEL TOWER!

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