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Palace of Versailles — Photo Collection
The Palace of Versailles (Château de Versailles in French) which began life as a hunting lodge for Louis XIII (1601–1643) is now the grandest, most famous and most visited chateau in France.
Transformed by Louis XIII’s son, Louis XIV (Sun King 1638–1715), who moved the court and government of France there in 1682 and with further improvements by each of the three French kings who resided there until the French Revolution, The Palace of Versailles has been on UNESCO’s World Heritage List for 30+ years.
The Palace of Versailles now serves as the Museum of the History of France.
The Gardens of Versailles cover some 800 hectares with famous fountains dating from the time of Louis XIV with some original hydraulics still in use.
The gardens are mostly landscaped in the French formal garden style (jardin à la française) based on symmetry and the imposition of order over nature with Italian Renaissance influence in its geometrically shaped planting beds (parterres), stairways and ramps connecting different levels, mythological themed statuary, lakes, ponds and fountains.
Palace of Versailles
Three architects —Le Vau, Hardouin-Mansart and Gabriel—are credited with the design of the Palace of Versailles.
The Fifth Chapel at Versailles is dedicated to Saint Louis, patron saint of the Bourbons.
Chapel of Versailles tribune level.
The Hall of Mirrors’ 17 mirror clad arches reflect 17 arcaded windows overlooking the gardens.
Statues and columns on the exterior side of the Hall of Mirrors
More architectural detail and statues.
Rooms in the grand apartment du roi of the Palace of Versailles, designed by LeVau,