While preparing a visit to Versailles, I ended up helping build Versailles. The building task involves matching three levels of architecture to please Mr. Mansard and the King. Playing the game, I heard myself giggling out loud (as did the rest of the household). Once completed, I earned a medal and the approval of the Louis XIV. “Shambles at Versailles” is one of the new interactive games to help Jules Hardouin-Mansard (architecture), Jean-Baptiste Colbert (menagerie) and André le Nôtre (gardens) finish building Versailles.
And by the way, did Versailles always look this way, gigantic and full of gardens? Surely, there must have been something on the grounds before: A forest? a house? a hunting castle? Find out the fast way, especially if your actual Versailles visit is a short one. Before you leave home, discover the new Versailles history gallery (the actual opened June 14, 2012) Versailles 3D scale models online (available in English and French). This is a 3D tour at each stage of the castle’s development covering 1624, 1668, 1670, 1715 and 2012 .
Three videos (“From Louis XIII to the French Revolution”, “Versailles after the French Revolution” and “From gardens to Trianon palaces”) open up the interiors Versailles in cut-away models holding your attention through five centuries of Versailles history. The history begins in 1624 when Louis XIII moved to Versailles. He demolished his father’s hunting lodge (Henri IV) and built a palace resembling the prototype for the American “MacMansion”.
Visit the Versailles tickets and rates page . One ticket alternative includes entry to everything Versailles and the water and music show (The Passport). Both include an audio-guide (children must be at least eight years old). Or choose just the palace, the Trianon and Marie-Antoinette’s Estate or Guided tours in French and English.
Mobile Apps (iTunes and Android) for visiting the Versailles Gardens, solving riddles (Énigmes à Versailles) and a remote virtual visit with videos are available in French. As yet, I am unable to regulate the settings for the English version.
Sample directions taking the RER C to Versailles-Rive-Gauche (Zone 4). Buy your RER C ticket in the metro station; it includes your metro ride and connection to the RER (one way). Travel to Versailles.
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