France in February (Versailles) Day 4
F R A N C E
V E R S A I L L E S
Less than an hour away from P A R I S by bus, car, or train is the grandest palace of them all: V E R S A I L L E S!
So... on Day 4 of your visit to PARIS devote your entire day to exploring the wonders of magnificent VERSAILLES PALACE and its surroundings.
It's hard to imagine that world famous VERSAILLES PALACE was once designated to be a hunting lodge for the king. That hunting lodge gradually became an opulent show piece and palace that is enjoyed by many to this day thanks to Louis the XIII and XIV.
The first mention of VERSAILLES was in a document dated 1038.
Centuries later in 1575 the estate of Versailles was purchased by a naturalized Florentine named Albert de Gondi.
Albert de Gondi often invited Louis the XIII on hunting trips to the forested land of Versailles. Louis the XIII was so pleased by the region that in 1624 he ordered construction of a hunting lodge.
In 1630 Louis XIII obtained full ownership of the land owned by Albert de Gondi and his family and had his hunting lodge enlarged.
In 1662 the new King Louis XIV known as (Sun King) wanted to move away from the Louvre Palace in Paris. He decided to expand Versailles and make it into a palace. Architect Louis Le Vau and artist Charles Le Brun carried out the work of creating a Baroque masterpiece and making it the grandest palace of them all.
The most famous residents of VERSAILLES PALACE were Louis the XVI and Marie Antionette. The French Revolution swept away the monarchy and the lavish lifestyle of Louis XVI and Marie Antionette ended with them both being be-headed in 1793.
VERSAILLES is 67,000 square feet. There are 700 rooms and 67 staircases in this magnificent palace. Guided tours take visitors through such wonders as The Chapel, Hall of Mirrors, The Grand Aparment, and The Royal Opera.
After exploring VERSAILLES PALACE a stroll through the city of Versailles is a nice way to end the day. Check out the Notre Dame and Saint-Louis district of Versailles (city). There are plenty of restaurants and shops in Versailles. Le Saint Julien 6 Rue Saint-Julien, Versailles and Au Chien Qui Fume 72 Rue de la Paroisse Versailles are good restaurants to consider for a meal before returning to PARIS.