The perfect day at Versailles by Solene
Located at around 20km from Paris, the town of Versailles is known worldwide for its chateau, residence of the Kings of France for nearly a century. Without a doubt, to visit Versailles with a guide is to optimize your visit From a practical point of view it is finding your way quickly without getting lost, it is avoiding the long queues, and receiving advice tailored to your interests. But taking a guided tour is most of all understanding what we have come to see, being able to ask questions, to opens one’s eyes, to exchange views. It is also to have one’s attention drawn to that which we look at but we do not see, and therefore to create memories of the experience. Very often visitors say to me ‘It’s right before my eyes, but if you hadn’t shown me I wouldn’t have seen it!’.
From a historical and artistic point of view, visiting Versailles with a guide is to place Versailles in the context of the time; to understand how what was once a village surrounded by forests surpassed Paris to become the flamboyant capital of the Kingdom of France from 1682. Much more than a royal residence, Versailles is a political act. The manifestation of the absolute monarchy, Louis XIV, Versailles became the centre of power and the embodiment of French grandeur which shined through Europe in the 17th Century. But the reign of Louis XV already bore the germs of revolution, the Monarchy could not resist the age of Enlightenment and the crown of Louis XVI fell without managing to establish an emergency financial reform. Versailles became a ghost chateau, drained of its courtiers, its furniture, its essence. As your follow your guide through the royal apartments you’ll follow in the footsteps of the Sun King; art and pleasure lover, patron and collector, who surrounded himself with the greatest artists of his time; all the way to the sumptuous Hall of Mirrors, leaving you to experience a day in the life of the king and his court.
However, it would be a shame to visit Versailles (for some of you, after crossing seas and continents!), stopping at a visit to the chateau. Far from being on the sidelines, the landscaping work on the gardens – location of many a splendid party – begun at the very same time as work started on the chateau. Louis XIV was particularly fond of his gardens, these French-style gardens that he was so proud to present to his guests. The Sun King had also written a tour itinerary for Versailles, therefore he was the first true guide at the chateau! Don’t miss the Versailles Fountain Show or Les Grandes Eaux de Versailles, it’s a must! You won’t regret it, and neither will I, I never tire of it! And if you’d like to see more, you can even stay the whole day and visit Marie Antoinette’s private domain – stopping for lunch by the Grand Canal. The Petit Trianon and the Queen’s hamlet, away from the formalities and constraints of the court, will allow you to enter into the private life of the Queen, as you discover the rural atmosphere that Marie Antoinette so loved. Don’t wait to make your reservation; I’m waiting for you…