Private Versailles Château & Park Tour
When Louis XIV set the architect Louis Le Vau, artist and decorator Charles Le Brun, and landscape architect André Le Nôtre to work on creating the Château de Versailles, he had a multitude of purposes in mind. Not least was simultaneously impressing and imprisoning, in a gilded cage, the nobility that gave him such a fright when he was a child living at the Palais Royal in Paris.
This private Versailles tour not only takes you to see the château and park that he created, in all their glory, it also provides insights into the psychology that created them. From hunting lodge to the site of the most spectacular festivities, Versailles for over a century was the measure of power and luxury for the entire world, and the Sun King meant it that way.
When we tour Versailles, we suggest starting with a visit at the Palais Royal in Paris, where an attempt to assassinate the royal family set in motion the thought processes that resulted in the construction of the royal château in Versailles. Since it is on the way, we then drive through the Parc de St. Cloud, site of another royal château, also designed by the same landscape architect, André Le Nôtre. There you will see swathes of the primeval Rouvray Forest that travelers rode through when Versailles was first created, giving you an idea of what travel to Versailles was like in the late 17th century when it opened.
During the drive, your private guide will explain how Louis XIV wove together many strands of different purposes to create the château. Our clients thereby understand what the Château de Versailles was all about, before they even see it. When we arrive you will enter the château using the priority entrance tickets we have procured in advance.
We will then take our Versailles tour party through the Royal Chapel and the State Apartments, the Hall of Mirrors, and the Apartment of Louis XIV, explaining the function of each, and relating key events that took place in them. Our final visit in the palace will the Apartment of the Queens, where three successive queens lived: Marie Thérèse, Marie Leczinska and Marie Antoinette.
We then take you into the gardens, an essential part of life at the château, and where the most sensitive matters and business of the king and the nobility were discussed.
This private guided tour will also evoke how the succession of personalities, from the late austerity of Louis XIV, to the decadent self indulgence of Louis XV, to the awkward shyness of Louis XVI, all played out at Versailles, finally defeating the purpose of the Sun King in creating the chateau as a means of ruling France.
We suggest at this point taking a break for lunch, perhaps at one of our favourite brasseries in all of France, the near-by Brasserie du Théâtre Montansier, quite near the château. Following lunch, we will drive into the park and explore the Grand Canal, Grand Trianon and, finally, enter the Domain of Marie Antoinette, where her detachment from reality finally wrecked Louis XIV’s grand scheme for governing France. The Domain of Marie Antoinette consists of the Petit Trianon Palace, her English gardens, the French Pavillion, her theater and her Norman Village.
When you choose Paris Luxury Tours to tour Versailles, we provide an expert guide who is a university-trained specialist in the history and culture of France, and who also has expert knowledge of the reigns of Louis XIV, XV and XVI, as well as the life of Marie Antoinette. More important, our guide shares with you the myriad fascinating quirks of personality of these figures, who defined the history of one of the most important countries in Europe and the world itself. Our guides speak English as natural first language, and they are expert drivers, who drive you safely and comfortably in upscale vehicles.
We think that there is more than enough to enjoyably fill a whole day of touring in Versailles alone, but it is also possible to limit your tour of it to only the château, to make time available to see something else, such as the château at Vaux le Vicomte, which preceded Versailles (and provoked it). You can also pair your tour of the château in Versailles with something unrelated, such as Claude Monet’s home and gardens in Giverny, or the Notre Dame Cathedral in Chartres. Don’t hesitate to ask us to create a custom itinerary for you.
Interested In Our Private Versailles Ch. & Park Tour?
However there is more than enough to fill an enjoyable day of touring in Versailles, and we consider the Domaine of Marie Antoinette (which requires a whole day tour to include), almost as compelling as the château itself. We therefore recommend the full day tour.
Just a quick note to let you know how much we enjoyed the tour of the Loire Valley [Custom Loire Valley Day Tour from Paris of 2 chateaux and 1 wine estate]. Let me start by saying the best part of the trip was meeting you and listening and learning about the history of France and specifically Chenonceaux. Your comments and guidance throughout the day made the experience far more than just a sight-seeing trip. Lunch was great and so were Amboise and the wine tasting. I can’t thank you enough for putting this tour together for us, we will enjoy the memories for years to come.
Stephen Kelly – San Francisco, CA