The Palace of Versailles, first a home of French sovereigns and later a museum, is well worth a visit if you are near Paris. King Louis XIV set up his government and court at Versailles in 1682. Louis XV and Louis XVI ruled from this palace until the French Revolution in 1789 forced royalty to flee. The palace then became a museum housing art from across the centuries.
We first headed for the life-sized play village, Marie-Antoinette’s Hamlet. The young queen enjoyed donning peasant clothes and spending her days in this village, which is a working farm. Besides the crops grown here, you’ll also see goats and dogs (rescued from a shelter). It’s easy to see why Marie-Antoinette loved to “play” in this peaceful place.
At the end of the day, the queen walked across the lawn to return to the Palace for dinner.
Today, the Palace welcomes visitors inside the golden fence.
I’ll confess that we moved through the Palace quickly, somewhat overwhelmed by all the glitz, and we emerged in the “back yard,” where we strolled around the gardens. Along with Marie-Antoinette’s Hamlet, these gardens were my favorite area. You can turn around and view the back of the Palace, of course, which is spectacular.
A visit to the Palace of Versailles is a full day’s outing if you want to see Marie-Antoinette’s Hamlet, the Palace, and the gardens. It’s time well spent, immersed in the history and beauty of France.
If you missed the post on how to tour the town and the Palace of Versailles on a bike, you can read more here.
If you go:
For comprehensive information on tours, hours, prices, and history, visit this website.
The palace is open every day except Monday from 9:00 to 5:30. You can purchase general admission tickets online before you go to save time in line.
Prices: Palace tickets are 20 Euro. For days when the musical fountain show is in the gardens, tickets are 27 Euro.
The gardens are open every day for no charge.
Fat Tire Tours offers tours of Paris, Versailles, and Giverny. The two tours we have been on have been very well organized and the guides are fun and knowledgeable. I highly recommend this company.