One of the most romantic cities of the world, France is an absolute delight for everyone who pays a visit. Since the time France was settled, it has been a leader in terms of its civilization, industrialization, arts, education, and culture. France attracts tourists in droves because it provides insight into the rich history and culture of olden days as well as preserves the ideals of modernity. This is the reason why it is filled to the brim with tourists all year round.
Created in the 17th century, the idea of building Chateau de Versailles was to demonstrate the absolute and complete power and hierarchy of the French monarchy. It was started under the guidance of Louis KeVau in 1661, but by 1670’s the construction responsibilities were handed over to Jules Hardouin Mansart. The interior designer and painter of the palaces was Charles Le Brun and the landscaping of the place was done by Andre Le Notre. The chateau is covered in marble, woodcarvings, gilt and frescoes, for which all the ideas were taken from Roman and Greek mythology. By the time it was complete Versailles changed from a small village to a thriving city. And this was the purpose to show the power of the wealth of the French rulers of the time. There are plenty of things to do at Chateau de Versailles. It is an extremely romantic spot if a lover or spouse is along and an extremely educational and historical one if family or friends are going together. Be it taking walks or taking pictures of the various artistic features and architectural marvels, Chateau de Versailles does not fail to disappoint. You will find that even an entire day spent at the palace is not enough for its complete exploration as there are so many things to do at Chateau de Versailles.
There are quite a few things that can be seen and enjoyed at the palaces and its surrounding gardens. Now the chateau is treated as a museum and tourist attraction. There are grand apartments to see, King and Queen’s private apartments to stroll through, the hall of mirrors to check out, chapels of Versailles and the royal opera to explore, Museum of the History of France to go through, as well as gardens of Versailles to check out. There are lots of things to do at Chateau de Versailles. Be it with friends or family, spouses or children, the place is an absolute joy to visit. When you are done checking out the palaces and its surrounding area, you can visit the city of Versaillesand all the attractions offered there. There are also plenty of eateries and fine-dining options as well as hotels where you can stay in for the duration of your trip.
When King Louis-Philippe undertook the decision of turning the palace into a museum, he took many steps to facilitate the transformation. The creation of The Carrosses museum (Coach museum) inside the royal stables was one of these steps, meant to make the place more interesting for visitors. One of the must-do things to do in The Carrosses Museum, is checking out the amazing collections and galleries that are over here. The museum houses a very interesting collection of the coaches used by royals and other important figures of that time and is regarded amongst the best things to do in Château de Versailles.
Coaches were how royalty travelled, and the coaches had to be as grand as the palaces in order to show one’s power. This lead to beautiful coaches with intricate designs we can now see in The Carrosses museum (Coach museum). The collection of coaches here is impressive, and the different coaches from the different eras lets you see how the design trends changed in the 17th and 18th centuries. The coach museum does not limit itself only to coaches; as also included in the things to do in The Carrosses Museum is checking out the mounts used by royals, as well as sleds. The sleds were used when the temperatures were freezing, and the water bodies of the palace were frozen.
Within the Château of Versailles is the fantastic The Château musée (Castle museum). The museum showcases the history of the French nation and area, and is a must visit for all tourists. This wasn't a part of the original Palace of Versailles. Versailles became the symbol of the absolute monarchy during the reign of terror, and lost its political importance. In the beginning of the 19th century it was decided that instead of reigniting the image of absolute monarchy, an amazing museum would be started here which displayed the most important points of French history. There are lots of great things to do in the Château musée, which makes a visit an absolute must for everyone.
The decision to change the nature of Versailles was taken by Louis-Philippe of Orléans. He loved history himself, and saw the opportunity to start a perfect museum in the palace. After him Napoleon continued work on the museum, as he himself was interested in the project. The museum has a lot of historical art wealth in it, with over 3000 sculptures and 6000 paintings included in the collection. There are lots of things to do in The Château musée (Castle museum), which is why it is amongst the most recommended places for tourists to go and learn about what makes this country so great. The whole palace can be said to be a museum to French history, as you will see depictions of all the important people in France’s history here.
When you are in the palace of Versailles, you will enter a hall that will be grander than anything else in the palace. This is referred to as the Mirror Gallery, and called La Grande Galerie in French. Standing out for grandiosity is a tall order here, because the rest of the palace is amazing as well, but the gallery manages to outshine the other parts of the castle as there are so many different things to do in the Mirror Gallery.
It was constructed after a victory, and was made to show off how well France was doing at the time. It was a common walkway for the people working and living in the castle, and whenever dignitaries from other countries were brought here, they would be brought in through La Grande Galerie. Even to this day dignitaries are brought through this hall due to its beauty, and you simply have to visit in order to check out all the great things to do in The Mirror Gallery.
It is called the hall of Mirrors, because arches made of mirrors are its defining feature. There used to be a lot of silver furniture here as well, but they were not able to survive the wars that were fought over this palace. They were melted and sold to fund the Nine Years' War, and are just one thing among the many beautiful items lost due to wars.
The King’s Grand Apartment is located within the Palace of Versailles, and it was made to show off the power and wealth of Louis XIV. Thus it is an extremely grand apartment, and consists of seven salons. The apartment wasn't made for the king to live in, rather it was made to show people about how grand the king’s lifestyle was, and is referred to as a parade apartment. Anyone who wanted an audience with the king had to come here. One of the things to do in The King's Grand Apartment is checking out the seven salons are based on the seven different planets discovered till that time, and on the gods associated with those planets.
Visiting all the salons in The King's Grand Apartment is considered to be amongst the grandest things to do in Château de Versailles.The salons within The King’s Grand Apartment contain a lot of art that is meant to show the greatness of Louis XIV, by referencing his actions through the depiction of other great leaders such as Augustus, Alexander the Great, and many more. The Hercules salon served as the chapel of the palace. The Abundance salon was the place where the king would have his evening refreshments. The Venus salon served as the entrance to the apartment, the Diana salon served as the billiard room. The Apollo salon is the most magnificent of the salons, and was dedicated to the Sun God. The Mars salon has a military theme and is similarly grand.
Similar to the king’s apartments, the Queen’s Chamber (grand appartement de la reine ) was the place for the queen to hold an audience. The design of the apartment and the salons all correspond to the king’s grand apartment and the chamber is extravagant and luxurious. One of the things to do in the Queen's bedchamber is checking out the incredible architecture of these apartments, which will leave you awe struck with the opulence of it all. The king’s apartment focuses on military history and political wins, and is a lot more subdued than these chambers.
Wealth seems to overflow from every part of the Queen’s Chamber. This is also an important historical site, as much of the political intrigue of the city happened here, and taking a tour is highly recommended on the list of things to do in the Queen's Chamber. Marie Antoinette, used these chambers, and if you look closely behind the jewel case in her room, you will be able to see a small door. This is the door she used to escape the palace from when a mob broke in to kill her. The seven salons, corresponding to the ones in the King’s chamber, are the Chapel, Salle de gardes, the Antichambre, the Chambre, the Grand cabinet, the Oratory, and the Petit cabinet. Some of the rooms have changed their décor over time.