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Overview

The town of Versailles, about 13 miles (21 km) from Paris, is a stodgily formal place, but the palace is the sight of a lifetime. The palace is unbelievably vast and as ornately artificial as a jewel box. The kings of France built a whole glittering private world for themselves, as remote from the grime and noise and bustle of Paris as a gilded planet. For viewing purposes, the palace is divided into sections, including the Hall of Mirrors (where the Treaty of Versailles was signed), the museum, and the Grand Apartments. The other contains the apartments of Madame de Pompadour, the queen's private suites, and the salons. Seeing all of it ...

The town of Versailles, about 13 miles (21 km) from Paris, is a stodgily formal place, but the palace is the sight of a lifetime. The palace is unbelievably vast and as ornately artificial as a jewel box. The kings of France built a whole glittering private world for themselves, as remote from the grime and noise and bustle of Paris as a gilded planet. For viewing purposes, the palace is divided into sections, including the Hall of Mirrors (where the Treaty of Versailles was signed), the museum, and the Grand Apartments. The other contains the apartments of Madame de Pompadour, the queen's private suites, and the salons. Seeing all of it would take up an entire morning and perhaps you should skip some of the rooms to save energy for the park. This is the ultimate of French landscaping perfection - every tree, shrub, flower, and hedge disciplined into a frozen ballet pattern and blended with soaring fountains, sparkling little lakes, grandiose steps, and hundreds of marble statues. The gardens are more like a colossal stage setting than a park - even the view of the blue horizon seems embroidered on.

Danforth Prince
About the Expert

Darwin Porter and Danforth Prince have written many guidebooks for Frommer's, including Frommer's France and Frommer's Germany.

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Now Happening in Versailles

Facts at a Glance

  • Location: The city (commune) of Versailles, is located in the western suburbs of Paris, 17.1 km from the center of Paris.
  • Language: French
  • Currency: Euro
  • Research: Wikipedia | Wikitravel
  • Weather: Rainfall | Daylight

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    Late spring, summer, early fall