Palace of versailles

The Palace of Versailles

By Natacha Gan

A train ride from Paris and a few more minutes’ walk through the cobbled streets is the opulent Chateau de Versailles or as the French call it, Castle of Versailles.

Built in 1623 by Louis XIII, Versailles was first a modest hunting lodge. the king’s son, Louis XIV then renovated and extended to function as the royal court, country government and private residence with the help of the architect Louis LeVau. Shortly after the completion of this phase in 1678, Louis XIV appointed architect Jules Hardouin-Mansart to add two massive north and south wings to the enclosure, as well as what is now known to be the palace’s most famous hall, the Hall of Mirrors. (A royal bedroom with 17 mirrored arches facing 17 arched windows, which overlook the magnificent 800 hectare garden).

The palace features a Baroque style of architecture, with ornate chandeliers hanging from fully painted barrel ceilings and gleaming gilt carvings lining the walls.

From the main entrance, to the Marble Courtyard, the Opera and the King’s Apartment, the opulence of Versailles is unquestionably breathtaking. It has been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site for 30 years and is undoubtedly the finest manifestation of 18th century French art. When you travel to France, a visit to Versailles is mandatory, but prepare to admire all the splendor that awaits you.