Arrive early to beat the tour groups to the State Apartments, the most famous of Versailles’s 2,300 rooms, where you’ll find the renowned Hall of Mirrors. Designed by Jules Hardouin-Mansart, the room’s intricate bronzework and statuary epitomise the palace’s excesses. It was here that the Treaty of Versailles was signed in 1919, ending the First World War, and where state guests including Queen Elizabeth II and the Kennedys have been entertained.
The glamorous, sprawling Château de Versailles is matchless in many ways. Transformed from hunting lodge to palace by Louis XIV in 1682 (with the help of some 36,000 labourers), this is quite simply one of the most impressive royal residences in Europe, unbeatable in both physical epicness and the sheer grandeur of its décor. Feeling up to the challenge? Here’s how to get the most out of your day trip, whether you want to tick off the estate’s headline attractions or discover little-visited corners in the grounds and beyond.
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