Palace of Versailles is one of the greatest achievements in French 17th century art.
Situated 26 Kms (16 Miles) South-West of Paris, this Palace is in every visiting tourist’s itinerary.
Such is the lure of this massive yet artistically built Royal domain.
For a little more than 100 years, the Palace of Versailles was the seat of French Government.
Till the King and Queen were pulled out during the French revolution in 1789 and killed.
Today, it is one of the finest tourist attractions in Paris attracting more than 10 million every year.
At its peak, around 5000 Royals, aristocrats, and servants lived in the 2,300 rooms inside the Palace of Versailles.
Some of these rooms are better than the rest. Check out the what’s best inside Palace of Versailles.
Each room has been explained with photos of the Versailles Palace interiors.
Hall of Mirrors
The Hall of Mirrors, the most famous room in the Versailles Palace, was built as an afterthought.
It replaced a large terrace, and a few rooms from both the King’s and the Queen’s apartments.
Nobody goes inside the Palace of Versailles and walks out without seeing the hall of Mirrors.
It is perhaps the most beautiful room in the whole world. Read more about Palace of Versailles Hall of Mirrors
The War Room
Master architect Hardouin Mansart started building the War Room in 1678.
Artist Le Brun painted the ceiling, depicting the victories of France. His paintings paid tribute to the military victories which led to the peace treaties of Nijmegen.
The decoration of the War Room was completed in 1686.
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The Peace Room
The Peace Room is exactly symmetrical to the War Room.
However, here artist Le Brun decorated the ceiling with the benefits of peace brought to Europe by France.
Initially, this room was considered part of Queen’s Apartments. However, with time this room got added to the suite of State Apartments.
The Gallery of Great Battles
The Gallery of Battles is one of the most power-packed inner rooms of the Palace of Versailles.
It covers almost the entire first floor of the South Wing of the Palace and depicts nearly 15 centuries of French military successes.
The 30 plus paintings decorating the walls of this room, light up the interiors.
The Gallery of Great Battles is the largest indoor space in the Versailles Estate. It is 120 meters long and 13 meters wide.
Kings State Apartments
This group of seven rooms was used to host the French King’s official ceremonies.
Back in those days, visitors who wanted to catch a glimpse of the King and his family waited in these rooms.
They could share a word or pass a note as the Royals crossed these rooms on their way to the chapel.
The Hercules Room
The Hercules Room was the last room to be built by King Louis XIV.
The place where the Hercules Room now stands once used to be the Palace Chapel.
While the work on the Hercules Room was completed early, the interior decoration wasn’t over until 1736.
François Lemoyne took four years to paint the ceiling depicting The Apotheosis of Hercules. To give you an idea of the scale of this painting – it had 142 people in it.
The work had taken such a massive toll on Lemoyne, that one year later he committed suicide.
The Hall of Plenty
When the King gathered their courtiers and other visitors in the State Apartments, Hall of Plenty served as a refreshment room.
There was plenty of coffee, wines, and liqueurs to consume.
This was also the room where the King kept his curios and that’s why it has often been referred to as Cabinet of Curiosities or Room of Rarities.
The Venus Room
Along with the Diana Room, the Venus Room also acted as one of the main entrances to the State Apartments.
Le Burn painted the ceiling here as well. The interiors of this room light up thanks to Venus depicted on the ceiling as the goddess of love.
During Evening gatherings, the Venus Room was the place to fill the tables with fresh flowers, and rare fresh fruits such as oranges and lemons.
Since Marzipan and candied fruits have existed since the 14th century, they also found their way to the tables.
The Diana Room
Once inside this room of the Palace of Versailles, you can’t miss Diana, the Goddess of the hunt and the sister of Apollo on the ceiling.
Like the Venus Room, the Diana room served as a lobby to the State Apartments.
During evening get-togethers with the inner circle, this room was often used as a Billiards Room.
King Louis XIV was quite skillful at the game and often won the matches.
The Mars Room
The Mars Room marked the start of the King’s Private Apartments.
It was also referred to and used as a Guard Room. No wonder then, that the interiors of this room are a dedication to the God of war.
On the ceiling of the Mars Room, Claude Audran painted Mars on a chariot pulled by wolves.
When you visit this room, don’t miss out on the cornice. Keeping with the theme of war, it is decorated with a variety of helmets and military headgear.
When the King’s men gathered in the evening, this room was used for music and dancing.
The Mercury Room
The Mercury Room was also known as the ‘bedroom.’
The interiors of this room in Palace of Versailles were highly decorated but Louis XIV had to melt them down to finance the War of the League of Augsburg.
When Louis XIV died, this was the room his body was displayed for eight days – from 2 to 10 September 1715.
The Apollo Room
Apollo Room was the sovereign’s Ceremonial Room.
From 1682 onwards, the Apollo Room was used as a throne room.
Since King Louis XIV had adopted the symbol of Sun, this room’s ceiling was dedicated to Apollo, the Sun God.
However, in 1689 Louis XIV’s famous silver throne was melted to pay for a war, and gilded chairs were used as thrones.
And the Apollo room stopped being used as the throne room.
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