The History of Versailles:
Versailles was originally created by Louis XIII on his hunting trips, as a cabin. Louis XIV expanded the palace into one of the largest palaces in the world, smaller in land area (for the entire complex) than the Forbidden City in China, but the largest in total land area (larger than Buckingham Palace at least). And according to Wikipedia, the world’s largest palace is the Topkapi Palace in Istanbul, built for the Ottoman Empire and its sultan; then Istana Nurul Iman, in Brunei, and the Apostolic Palace in Vatican City.
After the French Revolution, the Palace of Versailles was used as a museum. During the Napoleonic Wars, Napoleon’s wife lived in the Palace.
During the Franco-Prussian War, when Prussia captured Napoleon III and his army, they also captured Versailles. There, in the Hall of Mirrors, they proclaimed the unity of Germany, and thus created the German Empire, and took Alsace Lorraine, causing French anger at Germany, and a willingness and urge to fight against Germany.
The opportunity had arisen, and the French took it. They declared war. After World War I, in the hall of Mirrors, of Versailles, in the Treaty of Versailles, Germany was blamed for causing World War I, and heavy war reparations were imposed on Germany.
In World War II, Germany invaded France once again, and took over France this time. When France was finally freed, the Fourth Republic was established. However, it was abolished, and replaced with the Fifth Republic, which is modern-day France, and it is believed that the Fifth Republic has committed more money to restoring Versailles than the amount of money Louis XIV spent on creating the palace.
Where is the Palace and Park of Versailles:
Versailles was the royal chateau in France, where the King of France resided, and where he kept all the nobles. Versailles has a long and rich history – being a museum, a palace, a house, and having varying purposes. Currently, at this moment in time, it is a wealthy suburb of Paris, and about 20 kilometers south of Paris itself.
Why should you choose the Palace and Park of Versailles:
Versailles is an area that is the symbol of the French monarchy. It is one of the largest palaces in the world, and 3 million people visit it each year. You can enter Versailles for free on the first Sunday of every month from November to March. They even have their own gift shop!
Versailles is actually one of the Google World Wonders! Versailles is extremely famous – why else would 3 million people visit it each year? 3 million each year translates into 30 million each 10 years, and 300 million in a century (except it would increase over time), which is more than 2 or 3 times the population of Russia (except that would increase over time as well)!
How to get to Versailles:
The official website of the Palace of Versailles is at Chateauversailles.fr(English Website). To see if you are eligible for free entry, you can go to their tickets and rates page. To order tickets, check their tickets page. It takes about 35 minutes to get to Versailles from Paris (excluding traffic).
In order to get the Versailles from Paris, you could use the roads as outlined below with Google Maps. On the way there, you could check out other Parisian areas of interest, such as the Louvre, and you could see the Eiffel Tower on some roads. Just remember – Versailles is huge palace, one of the largest in the world.
This guest post was written by John Lin from Unifiniti, a website devoted to travel tips and history articles.