Château de Versailles

Versailles, France

The Château de Versailles, which has been on UNESCO’s World Heritage List for 30 years, is one of the most beautiful achievements of 18th-century French art. The site began as Louis XIII’s hunting lodge before his son Louis XIV transformed and expanded it, moving the court and government of France to Versailles in 1682. Each of the three French kings who lived there until the French Revolution added improvements to make it more beautiful.

The Hall of Mirrors, the King’s Grand Apartments, the Museum of the History of France. The Château de Versailles, the seat of power until 1789, has continued to unfurl its splendour over the course of centuries. At first it was just a humble hunting lodge built by Louis XIII. But Louis XIV chose the site to build the palace we know today, the symbol of royal absolutism and embodiment of classical French art.

In the 1670s Louis XIV built the Grand Apartments of the King and Queen, whose most emblematic achievement is the Hall of Mirrors designed by Mansart, where the king put on his most ostentatious display of royal power in order to impress visitors. The Chapel and Opera were built in the next century under Louis XV.

The château lost its standing as the official seat of power in 1789 but acquired a new role in the 19th century as the Museum of the History of France, which was founded at the behest of Louis-Philippe, who ascended to the throne in 1830. That is when many of the château’s rooms were taken over to house the new collections, which were added to until the early 20th century, tracing milestones in French history.

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Founded: 1682
Category: Palaces, manors and town halls in France

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User Reviews

Rajesh (3 months ago)
The palace of Versailles happens to be a lavish complex and a former residence of the royal kingdom outside the city of Paris. The palace of Versailles is located at a distance of 10 Km from the city centre of Paris.  The structure has deep connections with the political history of Paris as it represents an age in the history of French's rise as a power and fashion centre in the world.
Satish Patel (6 months ago)
The French monarchy’s principal residence up until the French Revolution, the Palace of Versailles is truly a sight to behold. From the stunning Hall of Mirrors to the palace’s perfectly manicured gardens, there’s no shortage of things to explore. For a behind the scenes peek into how the Royals lived, this exclusive VIP tour takes you into the Palace’s Royal Quarters.
Tej Jethwa (8 months ago)
Amazing place to visit. Well controlled and safe during CV19 times. Gardens are lovely to explore and see. Definitely MUST come and visit here if close to Paris. Parking can get busy so best to arrive early
강재현 (8 months ago)
It was the most memorable place during my trip to France and the exterior stood out because of its splendid appearance, but the interior was even more splendid, surprising. Especially, the size of the garden, which was larger than the interior area of the palace, was very surprising. It's a must-visit place if you go on a trip to France.
Denny and Angelina Johnson (8 months ago)
Enjoyed our visit! I wish we could have seen more of the rooms for the price. Even the secret passages! They really need to incorporate those passages somehow! They are amazing! It was busy, but was beautiful! Wear good shoes..
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Lednice Castle

The first historical record of Lednice locality dates from 1222. At that time there stood a Gothic fort with courtyard, which was lent by Czech King Václav I to Austrian nobleman Sigfried Sirotek in 1249.

At the end of the 13th century the Liechtensteins, originally from Styria, became holders of all of Lednice and of nearby Mikulov. They gradually acquired land on both sides of the Moravian-Austrian border. Members of the family most often found fame in military service, during the Renaissance they expanded their estates through economic activity. From the middle of the 15th century members of the family occupied the highest offices in the land. However, the family’s position in Moravia really changed under the brothers Karel, Maximilian, and Gundakar of Liechtenstein. Through marriage Karel and Maximilian acquired the great wealth of the old Moravian dynasty of the Černohorskýs of Boskovice. At that time the brothers, like their father and grandfather, were Lutheran, but they soon converted to Catholicism, thus preparing the ground for their rise in politics. Particularly Karel, who served at the court of Emperor Rudolf II, became hetman of Moravia in 1608, and was later raised to princely status by King Matyas II and awarded the Duchy of Opava.

During the revolt of the Czech nobility he stood on the side of the Habsburgs, and took part in the Battle of White Mountain. After the uprising was defeated in 1620 he systematically acquired property confiscated from some of the rebels, and the Liechtensteins became the wealthiest family in Moravia, rising in status above the Žerotíns. Their enormous land holdings brought them great profits, and eventually allowed them to carry out their grandious building projects here in Lednice.

In the 16th century it was probably Hartmann II of Liechtenstein who had the old medieval water castle torn down and replaced with a Renaissance chateau. At the end of the 17th century the chateau was torn down and a Baroque palace was built, with an extensive formal garden, and a massive riding hall designed by Johann Bernard Fischer von Erlach that still stands in almost unaltered form.

In the mid-18th century the chateau was again renovated, and in 1815 its front tracts that had been part of the Baroque chateau were removed.

The chateau as it looks today dates from 1846-1858, when Prince Alois II decided that Vienna was not suitable for entertaining in the summer, and had Lednice rebuilt into a summer palace in the spirit of English Gothic. The hall on the ground floor would serve to entertain the European aristocracy at sumptuous banquets, and was furnished with carved wood ceilings, wooden panelling, and select furniture, surpassing anything of its kind in Europe.