9am - Meet your private English speaking driver guide in the lobby of your hotel
A superb Baroque palace known to the world as a symbol of civilization and pleasure, the Palace of Versailles dates back to 1038, and was the official residence of the Kings of France from 1682 until 1790. Used by Louis XIV initially as a hunting lodge he had the property expanded to become the magnificent site of French classical architecture complete with extensive manicured gardens that it is today. The interior showcases magnificent examples of baroque furnishings, a rare collection of objects d'art and houses special exhibitions.
Then continue with a visit of the Gardens
From the central window of the Hall of mirrors the visitor look down on the grand perspective that leads the gaze from the Water Parterre to the horizon. This original perspective, which preceded the reign of Louis XIV, was developed and prolonged by the gardener André Le Nôtre by widening the Royal Path and digging the Grand Canal. This vast perspective stretches from the façade of the Château de Versailles to the railings of the park.
In 1661, Louis XIV commissioned André Le Nôtre with the design and laying out of the gardens of Versailles which, in his view, were just as important as the Château. The works were undertaken at the same time as those for the palace and took forty years to complete. But André Le Nôtre did not work alone: Jean-Baptiste Colbert, Superintendent of the King’s Buildings, directed the project from 1664 to 1683; Charles Le Brun, appointed First Painter of the King in January 1664, produced the drawings for a large number of statues and fountains; and, a little later, the architect Jules Hardouin-Mansart drew up increasingly understated scenic plans and built the Orangerie. Lastly, the King had all the projects submitted to him and wanted the “details of everything”.
Continue with a visit of Petit and Grand Trianons followed by Queen Marie-Antoinette`s Hamlet
From 1 July 2006, the Château de Versailles proposes to visitors a renewed space of visit : the “Marie-Antoinette's Estate »". The creation of “Marie-Antoinette’s Estate” is part of the “Grand Versailles” project that aims to show Versailles’ contrasts: Classical and Baroque, destitution and extravagance, male inspiration from Louis XIV and female inspiration from Marie-Antoinette to Madame de Pompadour, to name just a few.
The Petit Trianon and its gardens are inseparably linked from Marie-Antoinette: she was the only queen who imposed her personal tastes on Versailles, scoffing at Court traditions. In the Trianon estate, which Louis XVI gave to her in 1774, she found a haven of privacy that allowed her to escape from the rigours of Court etiquette. No one could enter without her personal invitation.
The reestablishment of the enclosure under Napoleon who took over the majority of the old layout (ramparts, portals, railings, and ha-has) means that today the Petit Trianon estate is still a unified area, private and preserved, centred on the palace in a wholly intimate setting. This layout shows the refinement and eclecticism of Marie-Antoinette, translated by her way of living and freedom of thought that was inspired by Enlightenment theories
Lunch at leisure – your guide will suggest you the best place to have lunch depending on your taste and request on site.
5pm – End of the tour at your hotel