Declared a World Heritage Site by Unesco, it has become one of the most popular palaces, being the scene of visits by millions of tourists every year, as well as the epicenter of series, films and novels that seek to bring their times to the present. of greater glories. The curious facts of the Palace of Versailles take us through the sumptuousness of a structure that is all luxury and power. He Versailles castleas this palace is also known, originally served as the royal residence. Its origins were quite humble. King Louis XIII only intended to occupy the space with a hunting lodge, but later, Louis XIV would give it the breadth, destiny, and imposing appearance that still captures the admiration of the world today. Join us in Supercurioso to explore the curiosities of the Palace of Versailles.
20 curious facts about the Palace of Versailles: Must-sees
1. Who built the Palace of Versailles
We begin this journey through the curiosities of the Palace of Versailles, going back in its history. It was in 1623 when Louis XIII had a brick and stone house built in the middle of the forest and near a hill, where he could receive his mother and his wife.
It was only 24 meters long by 6 meters deep. In the central body of the house the royal room emerged. Over time, the King bought and expanded the grounds of that first palace, which still had a modest appearance.
But The one who really made Versailles the imposing structure we see today was Louis XIV, the Sun King. Upon assuming his mandate, the monarch officially resided in the Royal Palace, in the Louvre, in the Tuileries. But little by little he was designing a fantastic and luxurious venue in Versailles, designed for pleasure and which would later end up as a royal residence.
2. Where is the Palace of Versailles
One of the curious facts about the Palace of Versailles is precisely its location. It was never intended, at least in its beginnings, as a royal residence. Despite being close to Paris, it was still too far away to manage the nation’s center of power. However, with the political events that took place over the years, it ended up being the best option for a royal residence. The Palace of Versailles is located in the municipality of Versailles, near Paris, in the Île-de-France region.
3. Its style of construction
Another of the curiosities of the Palace of Versailles is its architectural style. Typical sample of the baroque with French classicist characteristics, The palace has a large central courtyard that organizes the entire complex. It is also characterized by having an elongated body and two wings that face the garden. It extends over an area of 67 thousand square meters.
4. Beautifying modifications
The beauty of the Palace of Versailles lies not only in its imposing general postcard, but in the millions of details that we discover when exploring it, in every garden or corner. Among the best additions that were made to the aesthetics of the palace, stand out the statues in the gardens and the grotto of Tethys, placed in the year 1665.
5. Staggering numbers
The curiosities of the Palace of Versailles are truly unusual. Do you want a numerical fact that will blow your mind? Well, we tell you that throughout the Palace you will come across more than 200 thousand treesmore than 2 thousand windows, 352 fireplaces, 483 mirrors and 67 stairs.
6. The first party in Versailles
Among the curious facts about Versailles we have that its most important historical occupant, the Sun King, was a true party and pleasure addict. The first official celebration that took place inside the Palace took place in May 1664 and lasted a whole week. That inaugural party received by name Les Plaisirs de l’Île enchantée (“The pleasures of the enchanted island”) and served to present the official lover of the King in society.
7. Marie Antoinette’s secret corner
And of our favorites among the curiosities of the Palace of Versailles, the secret corner of Marie Antoinette stands out. Louis XVI’s Queen consort had her own personal domain within the palace, which she called The Petit Trianon.
In that place he had a theater, an orchard and a farm. Also a space that he called the Temple of Love, where he dined with a statue of Cupid in the center. Later on, Marie Antoinette would also order the construction of a private grotto, full of vegetation. It is believed that it was the space that the queen used as her own personal retreat.
8. The path from the kitchen to the dining room
We already know that the spaces of the Palace were enormous. Such were its dimensions that banquets attended by up to five thousand people were organized. To serve them when it was time to eat, the work of hundreds of servants was necessary. But the distance between the kitchens and the King’s seat was so great that his dishes often arrived cold. By virtue of this, King Louis XV ended up ordering the construction of other kitchens near his apartments.
9. The Hercule Room
And among the most extraordinary curiosities of the Palace of Versailles, we have to mention the construction of the Hercule Room, on the first floor of the enclosure. It was inaugurated in the year 1736 and since then It remains one of the most popular, thanks to its extraordinary beauty.
10. The Treaty of Versailles
And among the curious facts about the Palace of Versailles, we have that it has not only been synonymous with great events and banquets, but also with key moments in the history of humanity, such as the signing of the Treaty of Versailles. It was about the peace agreement that ended the First World War, with devastating consequences for Germany. The event occurred in the Hall of Mirrors, in 1919.
11. The secret passages
Another of the curious facts about the Palace of Versailles is that, taking into account that it was built at the pleasure of King Louis XIV, this place It has several secret passages. that allowed him to reach some of the rooms and halls faster.
12. A tourist epicenter
Another of the curiosities of the Palace of Versailles is its amazing popularity as a tourist spot. At regular times, It is estimated that some three million people visit the Palace of Versailles annually. 70% of the figure corresponds to foreigners. In addition, 7 million tourists travel exclusively to see the gardens of this impressive place.
13. Its opening as a museum
Currently, the Palace of Versailles functions as a site of cultural and historical interest in the French city, although there are also spaces for the service of the Presidency. Inside it is possible to find some of the most important museums of the curious France, which began to be built in the year 1837 and suppose 18 thousand square meters of the palace.
14. How many rooms does the Palace of Versailles have?
Another of the curiosities of the Palace of Versailles that will leave you speechless: In the entire extension of the castle there are two thousand three hundred rooms! When the construction was finished, the Palace could accommodate several thousand people with enough comfort.
15. How many bathrooms does the Palace of Versailles have?
And well… not everything is rosy. It is true that Versailles was luxurious and remarkably beautiful. But among its most powerful singularities, cleanliness stands out. Its original construction did not have a single bathroom.
Over time, some were made to house vats, although they were always very few. In the absence of toilets, the servants had to carry and bring containers when the nobles claimed them. But they weren’t always on time, so It was a common thing for the guests of the palace (which came to be up to twenty thousand people) to relieve themselves in the corners, endowing the space with a stench that became as legendary as its beauty.
16. Versailles as inspiration
This palace has served as an inspiration to make various replicas around the world. Some of the palaces that have similar aspects to Versailles are: the Royal Palace of La Granja de San Ildefonso, in Spain; the Wilanów Palace, in Poland; the Esterháza Palace, in Hungary; and the Schönbrunn Palace, in Austria.
17. The gardens of Versailles
Talking about the curious facts of the Palace of Versailles is making a special point in its gardens. With an extension of 800 hectares, in the palace gardens we find more than 210 flowers, 372 statues, 600 fountains and 32 kilometers of pipes. But curiously, at the time when the palace was used as a royal residence, the aroma emanating from the flowers was of such intensity that even the guests preferred not to visit them.
18. Abandoned during the French Revolution
The curious facts of the Palace of Versailles are also closely linked to the history of the country. In 1789, while the people were inflamed by the extreme luxuries of royalty, which contrasted with the hunger in the streets of the country, a crowd stood outside the Palace.
At that time they demanded a fairer price for bread in the Parisian markets. The people demanded that King Louis XVI and his family return to Paris, leaving the palace. The royal family, fearing for their lives, evacuated Versailles, which at that time ceased to be the royal residence.
19. The Opera House
And when it comes to musical and cultural shows, Versailles had a lot to offer. Inside there is a spectacular Opera House. The acoustics of the place are extraordinary, since its walls are covered with wood. The total capacity of the room is 700 people.
20. Thousands of candles
And we close with this trip through the curiosities of the Palace of Versailles, telling you that the lighting in ancient times was quite different from how it is now. At night Versailles was left in darkness, so the candles were a matter of first necessity. On the days when parties and dances were held, more than 20,000 candles were lit inside the palace to illuminate the rooms.
And you, Did you know these curiosities of the Palace of Versailles? Did you know that they did not have bathrooms and that guests vented their bodies wherever they could? Or that the scent of flowers in the gardens could be overpowering? Incredible! TRUE? Feel free to leave us your opinions in a comment. We will be looking forward to reading you! And if you want to continue learning a little about France and its beauties, don’t miss this selection of The ten best places to visit in France.