The “City of light” is undoubtedly one of the world’s most beautiful and fascinating cities – you could spend a lifetime here and not see everything that Paris has to offer. An easy day trip from Paris is to the Palace of Versailles, one of Europe’s most spectacular and largest royal homes. Versailles is about a 30 minute train ride from the center of the city.
At the height of its power, the Palace at Versailles was well known for its lavish banquets, parties and entertainment. It’s estimated that around 3000 people lived at Versailles, which was perhaps necessary as one of the many duties of the servants was to hold the ermine robe of the king!
Watch a short video of the Palace of Versailles:
To visit Versailles today is to enter a world of splendor and excess – the entire palace is decorated with marble, stone, gold leaf and wood carvings. The first floor of Versailles contained the elegant main bedrooms and other rooms; while the private rooms of the king and queen overlooked the inner courtyard, known as the Marble Courtyard.
Frequent programs of classical music take place in the gardens during the summer. But a spectacle not to be missed is the event called the “Dreams of the Sun” which occurs occasionally. These festive presentations feature fireworks and music, as well as 200 actors dressed in period costume. And as a memorable finale to your visit, be sure to linger at Versailles until around dusk when the palace is beautifully floodlit.
Versailles remains one of the most popular attractions in Europe. During the 18th century, its style influenced many other European homes and palaces. A visit here will transport you back to the days of Louis XIV and give you a unique insight into French history.