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Versailles Gardens facts. Visits. Map.

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Versailles Gardens are associated with Sun King and his gardener, Le Notre. These XVIIth century French style gardens are one of the jewels of Versailles, the royal palace near Paris. The Grand Canal, the Grand Trianon, the Petit Trianon, the many statues and fountains are the treasures of these gardens, very famous in the whole world. Palace of Versailles facts.

Versailles Gardens history

The Versailles Gardens are one of the jewels of Versailles.

They were designed between 1660 and 1670 by Le Notre, the gardener of King Louis XIV, Sun King, and the designer of the Tuileries Gardens in Paris. The works took forty years to complete. Jean-Baptiste Colbert, Superintendent of the King’s Buildings, directed the project from 1664 to 1683. Charles Le Brun, First Painter of the King, produced the drawings for many statues and fountains. The laying out of the gardens required enormous work. Vast amounts of earth were shifted for the flower beds, the fountains, the Canal.

Spread with statues and fountains, the gardens were the setting of splendid royal parties until the 1789 revolution.

Sun King in Versailles Gardens
Sun King in Versailles Gardens

Versailles Gardens facts

Versailles Gardens are a perfect example of classical French gardens where nature is ordered geometrically. Although they maintain the symmetry of Italian tradition, the Gardens have a network of axial pathways leading off to the horizon. These paths are cadenced by rond-points, pavilions, arboreal architecture, wider areas that suddenly appear ahead, stairways, terraces, ponds, and monumental fountains that expand the visual perception of space and add a sense of wonder. Versailles map. Top Paris gardens.

Canoes on Grand Canal in Versailles Gardens
Canoes on Grand Canal in Versailles Gardens

The Latona fountain

The Latona fountain is one of the highlights of Versailles Gardens. Commissioned by Sun King to highlight the myth of Apollo, an allegory for the glory of the Sun King, the fountain was dedicated to Latona, the mother of Apollo and Diana, whose adventures have been told by the Latin poet Ovid. Latona bore Jupiter’s children Apollo and Diana. She was forced to search for a place to give birth to her illegitimate twins. She came to Lycia, where she saw a clear pond and approached to quench her thirst. The local peasants refused to let her drink. They entered the pond and stirred up the muddy bed so that the water became undrinkable. Latona cursed the peasants, turning them into frogs and condemning them to a habitat of murky waters. Don't disobey Sun King. You could be turned into a frog.

The Latona fountain
The Latona fountain

Versailles Gardens visit

Count a whole day for Versailles Gardens and Palace.

The gardens are a perfect place to take a rest out of the city. They are open from 8am to 6pm everyday. Rent a boat on the Grand Canal or a bicycle in the Gardens' alleys. Information. Take a snack or a lunch in the elegant La Flotille restaurant.

If you have a full day in Versailles, don't miss two treasures: the Grand Trianon and Petit Trianon. The lovely Marie Antoinette's estate is also worth your time.

The Musical Fountains Show is a key attraction. Fountains play to the sound of baroque music to please ears and eyes. Walkers discover the groves of Versailles, and the fountains whose jets of water rise and fall in time to the music. There is a choice of routes, each leading to some of the Garden's stunning features. Information.

Parc du Chateau de Versailles
Versailles 78000 France
The basin of Apollo in Versailles Gardens
The basin of Apollo in Versailles Gardens

Versailles Gardens restaurant

La Flotille is a restaurant and bar that we love, specially off-season. Ideally located on the canal front of Versailles Gardens, it has successfully kept its original French charm, which dates back to the early 1900s. La Flotille is open for lunch everyday including Monday when the Palace is closed. The restaurant is open from 12pm to 3.30pm, serving a wide range of meat and fish courses. The brasserie is opened from 10am until 8pm with grilled dishes, daily specials, salads, toasted sandwiches, pizzas, pasta, burgers, club sandwiches, pastries, crêpes, waffles and ice-creams.

Parc du Chateau de Versailles
Versailles 78000 France
La Flottille in Versailles Gardens
La Flottille in Versailles Gardens

Versailles tours

You come to Paris for at least two days. Visit 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
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