The Palace of Versailles is one of the most beautiful works of art by the French in the 17th century.
It started out as a hunting pavilion for King Louis XIII. Louis XIV, his son, moved the French government to the palace in 1682 and brought the Court here. Kings afterwards kept on adding to the palace, gardens, and park around it, making it the beautiful, elegant palace and grounds that it is today.
Over 2,300 rooms make up this vast palace, which hold many stunning treasures inside and outside, including a room filled with gold and mirrors, and a huge garden with beautiful statues, flora, and ponds all over.
Hall of Mirrors
One of the most famous features of the palace is the Hall of Mirrors. This long hall is filled with 357 gold mirrors along the walls, along with paintings showing the history of Louis XIV.
Spectators can follow along and see portrayals of his early military victories and reforms. The mirrors, which were a huge luxury at the time, were meant to prove that the French could manufacture mirrors at least as good as the Venetians, who had a monopoly in those years.
Parc of Versailles
The huge park on the grounds of Versailles are not to be missed in order to get the complete experience. Paths run throughout, surrounded by a large wall that contains this oasis of greenery that has been the same since it was first created. Inside of the park area, the famous Grand Canal and the Lake of the Swiss Guard helps form the stunning landscape.
The Grand Canal was built with an east to west perspective that is filled with light and seems to go off into the horizon. It is 1,670 meters long and has seen a number of famous parties in its time. Louis XIV sailed in this canal that was built for the palace, using row boats, gondolas, and more.
statues and fountains
The stunning gardens of Versailles contain many intricate statues and detailed fountains. A huge amount of work went into creating the gardens, as soil had to be moved around to level the area, the many fountains had to be dug out, and trees were brought in from afar and planted.
Thousands worked on the creation of the beautiful gardens. Every 100 years the gardens have to be completely replanted, with the most recent one done after some large storms came through in 1999.