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Grand Canal in Chateau de Versailles

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Grand Canal in Versailles

Grand Canal designates three world’s marvels : the Beijing-Hangzhou Grand Canal in China, the Grand Canal in Venice, Italy and the Grand Canal in Versailles, France. Created in 1670 and one of the jewels of Versailles Palace, the Grand Canal is shaped like a large cross. The longer arm is 1 670m long and 62m wide, while the shorter one is 1 070m long. The Grand Canal was built in the perspective of Chateau de Versailles by gardener Andre Lenotre. Chateau de Versailles.

Grand Canal history

The Grand Canal is the masterpiece of Andre Le Notre, the gardener of Sun King and designer of Versailles Gardens. He created a 1 670m long east-west perspective in the axis of the Palace by digging the canal. The works lasted from 1668 to 1679. In 1669, Louis XIV ordered rowing boats and ship models. In 1674, the Republic of Venice sent the King two gondolas. In the summer the King’s fleet sailed along the Grand Canal. In the winter, the Grand Canal was left to skaters. It was the setting for nautical spectacles until 1789.

Grand Canal in XVII century
Boats on Grand Canal in XVIIth century

Grand Canal boats

Renting a rowing boat on the Grand Canal is one of the pleasures of Versailles. Boats can be found near La Flottille restaurant. Four people maximum are allowed per boat (5 including children). The minimum time is 30 minutes.

The presence of an adult is required. An identification paper is required as deposit. The cost is 12 euros for 30 minutes and 16 euros for one hour.

Canoes on Grand Canal in Versailles Park
Canoes on Grand Canal in Versailles Park

Grand Canal visit

Most visitors focus on the main Versailles Palace and skip Versailles Gardens, their statues, fountains and their three marvels: the Grand Canal, Petit Trianon, Grand Trianon.

Take a full day to visit both. Spend much time in Versailles Gardens. Go to one of two good restaurants: La Flottille or La Petite Venise. The visit of Versailles Gardens, the Grand Trianon, Petit Trianon and a lunch at La Petite Venise are included in Versailles Palace full day tour from Paris. Information. Map of Chateau de Versailles.

Grand Canal in Versailles
Grand Canal in Versailles

Chateau de Versailles is a must do

You come to Paris for at least two days. Visit Chateau de Versailles, a Unesco world heritage sight and one of the most visited sights in and around Paris. It takes half a day to visit Versailles on a tour from the City of Lights with skip the line ticket. Versailles is crowded. We recommend to come in winter and to avoid Tuesdays. If you have a full day, combine the visit of Versailles Palace with Giverny, the house and gardens of Monet, near Versailles. Detailed Information. Alternatively, take public transport from Paris to Versailles.

The Hall of Mirrors in Versailles Palace
The Hall of Mirrors in Versailles Palace