The Château de Versailles is nearly universally lauded as the grandest palace in Europe. Despite its humble origins as a hunting lodge, the estate was transformed into the seat of power for France’s most powerful king, Louis XIV. The palace is an exercise in 18th century decadence, from the dazzling Hall of Mirrors to the richly furnished Grand Apartments. Outside, a sprawling expanse of gardens, waterways, and quaint village retreats tempt the millions of travelers who visit every year. Explore the immaculately groomed gardens, then rent a boat and row down the Grand Canal to Marie Antoinette’s fairy-tale hamlet. Tours are self-guided, and audio-guides are included in the ticket price.
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