Versailles is about 20 kilometers southwest of Paris. Trains from Paris reach Versailles in about 40 minutes. Château de Versailles (Palace of Versailles) is one of the largest and the most luxurious castles in the world. Boasting of over 2,100 windows, 1,200 fireplaces, and 60 staircases, the palace is one of the most visited attractions in France.
In 1624, the king of France Louis XIII, began building a hunting lodge in the small village of Versailles. So, the Palace of Versailles began as a modest hunting lodge. Then Louis XIV enlarged and enrobed the old lodge, turning it into the great Chateau we know today.
As a fine example of 18th century French art, this historic building is on the UNESCO World Heritage List. The palace was known as the “cradle of liberty” (Berceau-de-la-Liberté), it was here that the people of Paris made their stand against King Louis XVI, forcing the Royal Family to leave behind their life of decadence and move back to the true capital city of Paris.
The Palace of Versailles is surrounded by a number of spectacular groves and gardens which are scattered in amazing numbers with beautiful sculptures and fountains.
We have to line up to get our bag scanned before entering. On busy days such as weekends or public holidays, be prepared to queue for about 3 hours to visit the chateau. I spent an hour on line on a normal day. >.<
If you are an EU resident under 26 or with an EU student visa over 6 months, you can skip the queue at the ticket counter and proceed directly to the ‘A’ entrance with your student card and your passport, with FREE entrance! Haha I took advantage of this. :p