6 reasons to visit the Palace of Versailles – Louis XIV’s spectacular chateau; Eleanor Lees; BT

France – Palace and Park of Versailles

Here’s why you should visit the infamous chateau.

We take a look at why the French king was so enamoured with the former hunting lodge, and why you should go and visit.

1. It’s one of the world’s biggest palaces

The Palace of Versailles started out life as a hunting lodge in what was then a small country village 12 miles south west of Paris.

It was subsequently expanded by Louis XIV and became the principal residence of the French royal family.

The first stage of the expansion took 17 years and saw three new wings added. Further building work included the addition of two more wings, stables, the Grand and Petit Trianon, the Chapel and the Opéra.

2. Wander the extensive gardens

The gardens of Versailles span across 800 hectares and comprise 200,000 trees, 50 fountains and a 5.57km canal.

Much of this was formerly woods and marshland but now in place of these is an extraordinary network of magnificent gardens.

They’ve been inscribed on the Unesco World Heritage List for a reason.

3. Marvel at the fountains

Despite the sheer volume of fountains across the vast gardens, Versailles has always had a problem with water supply.

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