Explore this magnificent château that was home to the royal family.
Fifteen miles outside of Paris, this sumptuous château was home to French kings and their families throughout the 17th and 18th centuries (Louis XIV, Louis XV and Louis XVI). Today it is registered as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It features 2,300 opulent rooms adorned with paintings and luxurious fixtures. A collection of 60,000 works of art is displayed throughout the premises, and showcases the great events of French history.
Not to be missed, the Hall of Mirrors (Galerie des Glaces) is the palace's most stunning feature, impressive both in its enormous scale and its pomp. The property also includes a huge park, designed by landscape architect André Le Nôtre in the 17th century, and boasts a grand canal, regal fountains and verdant groves.
On weekends from April through October, the museum sponsors the "Grandes Eaux," in which all of the fountains run in full play along to the sounds of classical music. Moreover, operas and classical concerts are regularly held at two locations, the Chapelle Royale and the Opera Royal.
Other must-see parts of the property include the Grand Trianon, a palace done up in rose marble and porphyry that acted as the home of Louis XIV and his mistress, and the hamlet of Marie-Antoinette, which comprises the Petit Trianon and a dozen cottages distributed around an artificial pond. The château remains a potent reminder of the former monarchy, and showcases the huge divide between the nobility and the peasant class that ultimately led to the French Revolution in 1789.
Note the château is closed on Monday.