The Garden Landscape Guide

Versailles, Chateau de

Versailles is the most famous garden in the world. Yet 'garden' is scarcely a fitting designation. The scale is monumental and there is little sense of enclosure. Versailles was designed as a palatial centre of government for an absolute monarch, Louis XIV. It is resplendent as the prime example of the French Baroque style, but it is not a friendly place. 'Overbearing' is a common description and English critics have often been disenchanted with the place. Walpole saw Versailles as 'the gardens of a great child' (H&T). Avenues project from Louis XIV's palace towards distant horizons, enfolding town, palace, garden and forest. There are imaculate parterres, great basins, an orangery, a vast collection of outdoor sculpture and some of the grandest fountains which have ever been made. The park and garden were designed by Andre Le Nôtre between 1661 and 1700. There are magnificient features: huge parterres, an orangery, famous fountains (which operate....), rich bosquets (ornamental groves), a 1.8 km cruciform canal. The Grand Trianon, another formal garden, was built on the site of a former village. Versailles also has later additions. The Petit Trianon was given to Marie-Antoinette in 1774. She favoured the irregular style, with hills, rocks and streams. The Hameau was designed in 1785, as a stage village, for Marie-Antoinette to play with her friends in the idle years before the French Revolution.

Ile-de France, Versailles, France

All year, Daily, Open 7am to sunset.

Entrance free in winter (Nov to March)

Visit the Versailles, Chateau de website

Nearby gardens

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Designers and Influences


  • almost 5 years by Adam Hodge 5 / 5

    My visit was in the evening as part of the most awesome spectacle..the gardens were lit throughout, the fountains all operating, illuminated and working in tandem to gorgeous Baroque courtly dance music richly volumed throughout the gardens, culminating in a stupendous firework, fountains and flames show, all to the background of Baroque music ..go see, it is fabulous !
  • over 6 years by Ally 5 / 5

    We had a fantastic guide taking us around Versailles Gardens, such a wonderful place!!!
    It's so big though, I'd recommend going with a knowledgeable guide. We used British Tours (, they were awesome!
  • over 7 years by Anonymous 4 / 5

    this helped so much. i had to do a report on versailles.I got so much facts i go there every year.
    thank you

  • over 7 years by Anonymous 5 / 5

    this was super good:)
  • over 7 years by PCooper 5 / 5

    Visited with friends and daughter in September 2005 - it was magnificant! Need more than one day to truly experience all there is to do and see. We had a beautiful day and walked many miles or so it seemed. A must see!
  • over 7 years by VJ (UK) 5 / 5

    I visited the site of the gardens. |You will need a whole day just in this area. Beautiful and exquisit are just a few of the words I can think of to describe the grounds.
    Some of the photographs I had taken on the day showed some very strange figures floating around although to the eye they were not visible. Ghosts I think they are called to best describe what showed on the pictures.
    Very beautiful and stunning grounds.
    A definate must see x
  • over 8 years by Anonymous 5 / 5

    Fantastic view, and wonderful information.
    Top stuff.
  • over 8 years by Armand 5 / 5

    I visit here many times and thought the place is empty and the place is dull. But then I saw Versailles when the sun was shining and the fountains were in action. Il était très beau.

The reviews and ratings originate in all cases from third parties. Gardenvisit is in no case responsible for the correctness or accuracy of the reviews. Reviews and similar information are not an expression of Gardenvisit's opinions.

Chateau de Versailles, France Photograph © Alan Graham
Fountain, Chateau de Versailles Photograph © Alan Graham
Statues, Chateau de Versailles Photograph © VJ
Ghosts at Versailles? Photograph © VJ
Versxx Photograph ©
Versailles garden2 Photograph ©
Versailles garden1 Photograph ©