The Gallery of Mirrors, witness to the power and magnificence of the French Kingdom
TVersailles Castle is a royal residence built at the initiative of the absolute monarch Louis XIV. It is a magnificent palace elevated to the rank of World Heritage jewel. The Gallery of Mirrors is a vast gallery intended to amaze the visitors of the Sun King and his castle.
The Gallery of Mirrors is a waiting and passage area for courtiers and subjects who wish to converse with the sovereign and / or members of his court. It also served rarely for diplomatic receptions, to celebrate feasts at a princely wedding or to present performances organized by the king. This immense gallery of 10.5 meters wide and 73 meters long owes its name to the 357 mirrors adorning the 17 arches (21 mirrors each) facing the windows. Its construction began in 1679, 18 years after the construction of the palace. It should be noted that King Louis XIII built a hunting lodge there in 1623 and that his successor decided to build a large castle, leaving the Louvre one.
Why visiting the mirrors gallery?
The Mirrors Gallery at Versailles Castle is a unique architectural masterpiece that attracts hundreds of thousands of tourists from around the world. It is the work of the architect Jules Hardouin-Mansart (Place Vendome, Castle of Marly, Castle of Dampierre, Saint-Louis-des-Invalides). It is a magical and dazzling place decorated with huge windows adorned with gilding fine gold, mirrors assembled by cabochons of chiseled copper. It is also decorated with paintings and frescoes by the painter Charles Le Brun. Visiting the gallery is an opportunity to admire the splendor of France through its art and its history.
Versailles Castle: The Petit Trianon
Presentation of the domain
The Petit Trianon is a modest-sized castle which is part of the Versailles estate. It was King Louis XV who ordered its construction in order to offer it to Madame de Pompadour, her favorite. Deceased before the construction of the Trianon, Madame de Pompadour could not occupy the place and it was Madame du Barry who had the honor to inaugurate it in 1768.
It is a square-shaped simple building, work of Ange-Jacques Gabriel (Concorde place, Champs-de-Mars military school, Bourse place in Bordeaux, Chateau de Compiègne). At the death of King Louis XV in 1774, Madame de Barry had to evacuate the place and it is to Marie-Antoinette, Louis XVI’s wife, that the property of the Petit Trianon returns. The housewarming of the castle on June 6, 1774 was a splendid event to which the new King of France offered to his queen the key set with 531 diamonds made jointly by the locksmith François Brochois and the goldsmith and jeweler Michel Maillard.
Why visiting the Petit Trianon?
It is a place whose history is linked with Versailles Castle. Ruined during the French Revolution, the castle was restored by Napoleon and was transformed into a museum devoted to the memory of Marie Antoinette by Eugénie, the wife of Napoleon III. It houses some works of art and furniture. The visit allows to discover the Queen's house, the Temple of Love, the royal farm, the belvedere and some and the dovecote. It is a magnificent place that allows to rediscover what the life of a favorite or a queen in this private residence has been.
Versailles Castle: The Grand Trianon
Presentation of the domain
The Trianon de Porcelaine is a collection of castles, courtyards, gardens and basins. The small castle was erected at the request of King Louis XIV for his exclusive use, meaning to get away from his courtiers. Completed in 1672 by the architect François II d'Orbay, the king ordered the building to be demolished 15 years later (in 1686) because of its fragility. The Grand Trianon named to its completion Trianon of Marble, is then built in replacement.
The Grand Trianon is a palace larger than the old one. This name was attributed to him only at the end of the construction of the Petit Trianon in 1768. It is the resting place of the king where it retires accompanied by some people sorted at the shutter. The King Sun slept there for the first time on July 11th, 1691. No visit was permitted except by royal invitation and few people could sleep there. At the time of his successor Louis XV, the Grand Trianon was the residence of his wife Marie Leszczinska during spring-summer. Marie-Antoinette, the wife of Louis XVI preferred the Petit Trianon. Like all the royal mansions, the castle was stripped of its possessions during the revolution and it was Napoleon, at the time of the Restoration, who assigned himself the duty to restore its former luster.
Why visiting the Grand Trianon?
The Grand Trianon is now open to public whose main attraction is General de Gaulle apartment. The visitors make a real journey back in time to rediscover the great figures of France who inhabited the place: Louis XIV the Absolute Monarch, Louis XVI the last king before the Revolution, Napoleon the emblem of the Restoration and General de Gaulle The hero of the Liberation. You can also admire the magnificent gardens of the estate. The estate is in full restoration period to save this historical and cultural heritage.
How to get from Paris to Versailles by limousine with driver
Versailles is only 25 km far from Paris. So, just drive by car for about 45 minutes, starting with Victoria Avenue. The limousine will still have to pace some avenues like the Colonel Henri Rol-Tanguy Avenue, the General Leclerc Avenue or the Porte de Châtillon Avenue. It will be necessary to join the A13 / E5 (Normandie Highway) to Rouen, Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines and Versailles. The limousine will still pass through Marnes-la-Coquette before arriving at its destination.