One of the grands of our world, a must to visit when in France. A bit of history and then some photos. The official webpage will give all information in english too, and any specifics you can ask me.
The first mentioned of Versailles dates from 1038 AD where monks erect a church of Saint Julien. By 1472 AD, the first complete mentioned of the city is as Versailles-aux-Bourg-de-Galie (new French, Versailles in the town of Gally). by 1475 AD the Lords of Versailles give right to Trianon to the abbey of Sain Germain, first mentioned of Trianon in texts. by 1589 AD first time king Louis XIII stops by Versailles, which he again will visit in 1604,1607, and 1609 ;while doing his first hunt in 1607. by 1623 AD ,king Louis XIII has built a modest country manor home in bricks to spent his time hunting and passing by but never sleeps in it.
The first castle type construction was done by what is today the cour de marbre ( courtyard of marble) being of 24 meters long and 6 meters wide. On April 18, 1632 king Louis XIII buys the lands and domaine of Versailles to Jean-François de Gondi, bishop of Paris. New lands around it are purchased and a bigger castle is built in 1634 AD. King Louis XIII died on May 14 ,1643 AD.
His son king Louis XIV lived in Paris at the Louvre, and was born in nearby Saint Germain-en-Laye. By 1651 AD does his first visit to Versailles and on October 25th, 1660 takes there for the first time his wife queen Maria Teresa (Spain). From 1661-1668 AD renovations and new constructions takes over the life of the domaine. He brings in the crew that built the castle of Vaux-le-Vicomte (seine et marne dept 77) as Le Vau,the architect, Errard and Coypel, the decorators, and Le Notre ,the gardener. By 1664 the first parties are done in the castle including plays by Moliére. First statues place in the gardens done in 1665 AD, the grand canal is build in 1667 AD. The biggest party is thrown on July 18 1668 AD to make the castle known to the world.
1668-1670 the castle is enlarged again with encircling the old building all done by architect Le Vau, and after his death in 1670 AD by his successor architect d’Orbay. The Trianon in porcelain is built in 1670 AD, and at this time many hôtel particuliéres or manor houses are built of great richness such as the ones of Luxembourg,Noailles,Guise,Bouillon, and Gesvres. Between 1678-1686 the galerie des glaces or the gallery of mirrors is built with decorations by Le Brun. By 1682 AD even before all is finished the king Louix XIV comes to live in the castle. Meanwhile, more construction is going on between 1685-89 AD. New Orangerie, Grand Comun (for servants and lesser officials quarters due to reopen to the public in 2012), the stables of petit and grand ecuries. 1700 AD new apartments are done to house the duke of Anjou, grandson of Louis XIV, future king of Spain under Philip V (the Bourbon line is done, ancestors of todays king of Spain Juan Carlos I).
1689-1710 AD the chapel is built;upon king Louis XIV death in 1715, Louis XV finally comes to live in Versailles in 1722 AD at the age of 12 years old, and makes his preference to lived at the Trianon. Meanwhile renovations and constructions continues from 1729 AD on such as the Salon d’Hercules in 1729-1736, the royal Opéra 1768-1770, and the petit Trianon 1761-1768. In 1770 AD the marriage of the dauphin heir future Louis XVI with Marie-Antoinette de Lorraine, archduchess of Austria is held here at the chapel.
Comes king Louis XVI, the builds the library in 1774 done by Gabriel. Cabinet Dorée or golden cabinet built in 1783 to house the collections of Louis XV, his father. then comes the French revolution.
The Estates Generaux are held here and from October 6, 1789 the castle is never the same again. All traces of kings is taken down, all objects are spread all over France and abroad. the statues, sculptures and paintings as well as furniture is sold all over Europe. A sad time indeed. Then comes reason in the name of the new monarch of king Louis-Philippe in 1830, he decides for good that the castle can be save if made into a museum ! ” FOR ALL THE GLORIES OF FRANCE”. The museum is open on June 10, 1837,hails greatly by one Victor Hugo.
Here the treaty of Versailles ending world war I is done on June 28 1919. Today all changes or amendments to the French constitution as per article 89 needs the National Assembly or Assamblée Générale (house of reps) and the Senate,and the President and his cabinet must move and do those changes debates in Versailles. While here the city of Versailles becomes the de facto Capital of France!!! Like it never has stopped being it !!!!!!!!!! webpages for more info is the official site of the castle below in English,Chateau de Versailles.
information on the city hall government of Versailles ,in French with contact info. Its in the tourist page, with monuments to see as well as to the right the tourist office info http://www.versailles.fr/tourisme/
The official tourist office of the city of Versailles for all your needs, and very close to castle corner of ave de Paris and ave gal de Gaulle. the site in English http://www.versailles-tourisme.com/en/accueil.html
the site of the potager du roi or the vegetable/fruit garden of the King, still today on wednesdays you can come and buy produce at it! great. The site in English is a bit weird ,more info in the French version here is in English http://www.potager-du-roi.fr/anglais/anglais.html
in French but the ferme Gally or farm Gally sits on the site beyond the chateau in the town of Saint Cyr-l’école, where the same family runs it since 1741, this is the farm that provided food to the castle since its creation. It can be visited, and one I did try to encourage travelers to come for lunch http://www.ferme.gally.com/_Ferme-pedagogique-de-Gally-plan-d-acces-et-horaires
The equestrian show happening across from the castle at the Grand Ecuries, where the great Bartabas does its wonderful horse shows,not to be missed. Still within the Domaine of Versailles. http://www.bartabas.fr/Academie-du-spectacle-equestre
in French but the little city newspaper ,MonVersailles (MyVersailles)that you can subscribe for news of the city in general, give all the everyday life of it including tourist updates and information. http://www.monversailles.com/
If you want to help restore and maintain this wonderful property call the Chateau de Versailles and join millions around the world who do including me, this is the site for Les Amis de Versailles or the friends of the castle. http://www.amisdeversailles.com/#/english–
of course impossible to name them all, the property is huge, this will give some ideas and history to search. If need any detail information feel free to post a question or contact the owner, me of this blog. I live here ::)