Palace of Versailles Facts

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Country: France
Languages: French
Currencies: Euro (EUR)
Wonder type: Palace
Featured in:
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UNESCO World Heritage List

  • The Palace of Versailles takes its name from the surrounding suburb
  • The palace is located around 17km west of the centre of Paris
  • Louis XIII commissioned a hunting lodge in Versailles in 1624, however; it was not until 1661 that his son, Louis XIV, began the task of turning the much smaller lodge into the palace we know today
  • The second gate of the palace was destroyed during the revolution
  • The palace is 51,000 square meters (550 sq ft), has 2,153 windows, 67 staircases, and nearly 2000 acres of gardens
  • Due to the constant political turbulence in Paris Louis XIV, the Sun King, officially moved the seat of government and court from the Louvre Palace to Versailles in 1682
  • Construction of the palace cost around 116,438,892 Livres. Today, this amounts to approximately 2 billion dollars
  • Versailles has been made famous in popular media largely due to Marie Antoinette who married Louis XVI. Her extravagant lifestyle and Austrian decent made her unpopular with the Parisian citizens due to the prevalence of poverty, France’s growing debt and tensions with Austria. In 1789 a mob stormed the gates of Versailles, Marie Antoinette and Louis XVI were captured, imprisoned, and later sentenced to death by the guillotine
  • During the French Revolution, much of the furniture was sold and artworks moved to museums. It was not until after World War II a concerted effort was put into the restoration of Versailles, which included sourcing as much of the original furniture and artwork as possible
  • The Treaty of Versailles was signed in the Hall of Mirrors in 1919, ending World War I
  • The garden is just as impressive as the palace, covering 1,976 acres (800 hectares) in a structured French Garden style. It has 200,000 trees, 50 fountains with 620 jets of water, and 210,000 flowers planted every year
  • Louis XIV installed the fountains to entertain the royal guests. Today, many of the fountains still use the same network of hydraulics that was built by the Royal family.

 

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