Once upon a time . . . In 1623 King Louis XIII built a hunting lodge – A little hunting lodge, a little chateau of brick, stone and slate.   The king liked so much this little castle in the middle of suc h a good hunting park, that he soon had it enlarged. 

King Louis had a son,  King Louis XIV aka the Sun King, and apparently he liked the little hunting lodge just as much as his father did.  So in the typical spirit of fathers and sons, he had his architects embellish the early Versailles castle.  A second building enveloping the old Versailles castle was built with new even style stone façades.  Bigger and Better! 

King Louis XIV evidently really liked the little cheateau turned castle, for in 1682, the Château de Versaille became the official residence of the Sun King and his Court ,  replacing the Louvre and Saint-Germain Castles. Versailles : The Marble Courtyard

Construction, renovation, expansions and improvements on the Chateau de Versailles continued over time and through generations.  The Sun King had the terrace of the new chateau transformed into the Hall of Mirrors, symbolizing his power in addition to a  North and South castle’s Wing.  King Louis the XIV began construction of the  Royal Chapel.   Around 1770, during the reign of King Louis XV, the Royal Opera of Versailles was built. 

 Versailles : The Water Parterre

 Louis XV commissioned the construction of a small castle : the “Petit Trianon”.  The “Petit Trianon” was offered to Queen Marie Antoinette by King Louis XVI when he acceded to the throne…Marie Antoinette also wanted a “village” of her own in the style of Normandy Cottages , the  Queens Hamlet,  has a romantic  English Garden .Versailles : The Gardens

King Louis Philippe in 1837 transformed the Chateau de Versailles into a museum  dedicated to “all the glories of France”. Chateau of Versailles’ history galleries are the largest History Museum in the world (18,000 square meters).  

Versailles ‘ fabulous gardens and park are almost as spectacular as the castle. Versailles garden including fountains, jets , waterfalls, statues and water parterres making it a place I must spend a afternoon in with my picnic lunch.

About eight million visitors discover  this architectural and cultural masterpiece every year!  This sight is an absolute must, when touring France and I plan to be number eight million and one!