Palace of Versailles, a former French royal residence and governing centre at that time, now a national landmark & a famous tourist place in France. Before the palace was built Versailles was a country village located 20 km south-west of French capital and today it is wealthy region in France. The original residence, built between 1631 to 1634, was mainly a hunting residence and other private work for Louis XIII (reigned 1610–43) and his family. The court of Versailles become the centre of governance and official residence of king in France by 1682, when the king( Louis XIV)moved from Paris, until the royal family was forced to leave the palace and return to capital(Paris) by the revolutionary in French revolution.
VERSAILLES is a royal château(fort) in Île-de-France region of France. In France it is known as Château de Versailles i.e. palace of Versailles. Louis XIV transformed the palace into a Immense and incredible complex (1661-1710) surrounded by beautiful English and French garden. The additional construction was mainly designed by architects as Jules Hardouin-Mansart, Robert de Cotte, and Louis Le Vau. Charles Le Brun designed the interiors was a famous painter and designer at that time. André Le Nôtre a famous landscape artist designed the gardens around the palace and fountains with magically still water. After the French revolution the fort was nearly destroyed and it was restored by Louis-Philippe (1830–48) . In the 20th century it was used by plenary congresses of the French parliament and as house for the state heads, the primary utility of the palace lay in tourism. Now a days it is a major tourist attraction in France and one of most visited place in world.
The palace was mainly constructed in four parts known as The four building campaigns (1664–1710). The first building campaign was started (1664–1668) with a fete(festival) held at 7 and 13 of May 1664 naming Plaisirs de l’Île enchantée (Pleasures of the Enchanted Island).The second building campaign started with the signing of treaty of Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle which ended the war of devolution. The most important modification of the chateau was hunting lodge of Louis XII. One of most important thing is that both the apartments built has rooms with similar dimension . The decoration of the rooms, which was constructed under Le Brun’s direction, showing the “heroic actions of the king” and were represented the actions of historical figures from the past (Alexander the Great, Augustus, Cyrus, etc.). The third building campaign (1678–1684) started with signing of Treaty of Nijmegen in 1678,which ended the dutch war. Now the palace of Versailles acquired much of the look of the present one. In refrence to hall of mirrors Hardouin-Mansart constructed the north and south wings and the Orangerie. Many designers and artist naming Le Brun, Le Nôtre’s were involved in designing of interiors and the garden surrounding the new palace. After the defeat in War of the League of Augsburg Louis XIV took its step toward construction of fourth building campaign(1699–1710) . some modification were also done in the apartments naming appartement du roi. There is no work done till next 20 years.
In Louis XV time transformation and restoration is done ,designed by Louis Le Vau and his workmate Monsieur Paul Chatal but the pase was not as Louis XIV .one of major work done in his time was completion of Salon d’Hercule. Many apartments were also built in his time like petit apartments du roi; the apartments de Mesdames, the apartments du dauphin, and the apartments de la dauphine on the ground floor; and the two private apartments of Louis XV – petit apartments du roi au deuxième étage (later name changed into the apartments de Madame du Barry) and the petit apartments du roi au troisième étage – on the second and third floors of the palace. The main contribution of Louis XV was construction of opera house and the Petit Trianon and sadly the destruction of Escalier des Ambassadeurs (Ambassadors’ Stair), he also made a way through the state apartment to his daughters.
One of the most famous room in the palace is the Galerie des Glaces (Hall of Mirrors; 1678–89) and the Grands Apartments (State Rooms). The hall of mirror is consist of17 wide mirrors opposite 17 windows; glass chandelier(frame) hang from its ceiling, painted ceiling, and statue in the apartment. Other important places are, Grand Trianon and petit trionon it was built for the royal family as private residence and for guests. A museum was constructed by Louis philippe during restoration , was image of all glories of France. however, its 6,000 paintings and 2,000 sculptures are mostly closed to public . UNESCO identified the palace and its gardens as the World Heritage site in 1979 due to a devastating winter storm in 1989, this destroyed 1000 tree in the garden making garden a heritage site. the French government started a wide-ranging project of repair and restoration. An intense windstorm in 1999 caused the loss of some 10,000 trees, consisting of several planted by Marie Antoinette and Napoleon Bonaparte. The chateau was also damaged at several places. In the late 1990s more than nine million people visited the palace annually.