The Grand Canal of Versailles!!!

Well had this on other towns and not in my beloved Versailles! I need to put this in my blog and use my pictures from my vault to tell you a bit on the wonderful gorgeous Grand Canal of the Palace of Versailles!!!

We come to the Grand Canal, occupies 24 ha, measuring 1500 meters long and 62 meters wide ,and 1070 meters by 80 meters for the transverse arm with an average depth of 2 meters, and a total periphery of 5.5 km, extends in its main axis the perspective of the garden of the Palace of Versailles towards infinity. Bordered by beeches, oaks, fresnes and cherry trees, it forms a harmonious whole.

versailles grand canal to porte st antoine jun15

In 1674, king Louis  XIV  ordered the construction of the Petite Venise; located by the septentrinal arm of the Grand Canal.  The Grand Canal in the Palace of Versailles is the largest basin in the park. In the shape of a cross, it was built between 1667 and 1679, at the instigation of Le Nôtre. Before that date the park, closed by a gate, stopped behind the bassin des Cygnes or Swan Basin. This monumental piece of water was nevertheless successfully built, cutting off the Ru de Gally which was used to feed the canal.

versailles parterre d eau afar castle jun15

The plan of the Grand Canal is today in the form of a cross whose main east-west perspective is located in the axis of the castle, The work completed in 1679, the Grand Canal will serve as the starting point for the fireworks given during the sumptuous royal festivals that Louis XIV organized in the palace. The Grand Canal also played a practical role. Indeed, located at a low point in the park, it received the water which flowed from the fountains located in the gardens upstream. This was then pumped using a network of pumps driven by windmills and horse-powered mills, then returned to the reservoir placed on the roof of the grotte de Thétys or Thetys cave in order to replenish the fountains. This hydraulic system then operated in a closed circuit.

versailles terrace de centaure by grand canal to trianons jun15

During the French revolution, the Grand Canal will be filled in and will serve as a wheat field ! Fortunately , king Louis XVIII (brother of Louis XVI) will restore it to his original vocation.

Tradition holds the king Louis XIV will sail a substantial fleet there such as a three-masted vessel “Le Grand Vaisseau”, a galley, longboats, galiotes, brigantines, gondolas (offered by the Doge of Venice) and, from 1675, two yachts from England, You can ,now rent boats on the Grand Canal. Boat rental is open every day from 10h to 16h45 (last departure at 6h15). Annual closing: December, January and February , the most winter months,

You can do a tour of the Grand Canal that will allow you to discover superb views of the Palace of Versailles. The distance to be covered is 5.5 km. It takes approximately: 1h to 1h15 by walk, 25 to 30 minutes by bike ,and 35 to 40 minutes in rollerblading.

The Nautical Circle of Versailles organizes in partnership with the Palace of Versailles, once every 2 years, the Regattas of Versailles. Thus, 400 international boats, 1500 rowers take part in one of the biggest rowing races in France,check it out.  Also, the Trophée des Rois (kings trophy) is the rowing regatta organized each year by the Club Aviron ESSEC. The most prestigious French universities have been meeting here for 25 years to compete and compete against invited foreign universities …Indeed check it out

versailles grand canal and boats jun15

One more temporary event coming here is for the 2024 Paris Olympics Games !! This will allow for certain sports events to find an exceptional setting steeped in history to welcome them. A temporary quarry flanked by several stands will be installed at the Etoile Royale, an esplanade which sits west of the Grand Canal, in the heart of the park of the Palace of Versailles. This arena will host two eventing events with one dressage test and one show jumping as well as the show jumping and dressage competitions (Olympic and Paralympic). The cross-country individual and team events will take place near the Grand Canal, and the five components of the modern pentathlon will also be held at the Palace of Versailles ! Be ready it check it out !

The official Château de Versailles on the park and canal

The Versailles tourist office on the palace (2 bis avenue de Paris)

The city of Versailles on the palace:

There you go folks, enjoy this masterpiece of a pond in a gorgeous sublime palace for all humanity. We love it, hope you do too, its a must even for it alone! indeed our favorite playground with the boys! The Grand Canal of the palace/museum of Versailles! Awesome !!!

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

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