When Louis XIV set the architect Louis Le Vau, artist and decorator Charles Le Brun, and landscape architect Andre Le Notre to work on creating the Chateau de Versailles, he had a lot on his 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 Royale in Paris. This private Versailles Tour not only takes you to see the chateau 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 start with a drive through the Parc de St. Cloud, another royal chateau, the park and gardens of which were also designed by the same landscape architect, Andre Le Notre. 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 there was like in the 17th century. During the drive to Versailles, your private guide will explain how Louis XIV wove together many strands of different purposes to create Versailles. Arriving at the opening (so that we beat the dense crowds of other visitors that eventually fill up the chateau to the point of making an enjoyable visit impossible), our Versailles tour enters the chateau using the priority entrance tickets we have procured in advance.
We will then take you through the Royal Chapel and the State Apartments, the Hall of Mirrors, the Apartment of Louis XIV, and the Apartment of the Queens, explaining how each part functioned, and evoking key events that took place in them. We then take you into the gardens, which were an essential part of life at the Chateau de Versailles. Our private guided tour will evoke the decadence of the reign of Louis XV and bring to light how Louis XVI unwittingly scuttled everything that his great, great grandfather had tried to achieve with his creation of the Chateau de Versailles.
It is possible to limit this tour to half a day, so that you can combine it with seeing something else, such as the predecessor that provoked Versailles, the Chateau at Vaux le Vicomte, or unrelated near-by sites such as Claude Monet's home and gardens in Giverny or Notre Dame de Chartres Cathedral. But our recommendation is to tour Versailles by devoting your whole day to seeing it. We suggest taking a break for lunch at one of our favorite brasseries in all of France, quite near the chateau. After lunch we will take the car and drive into the park to view the Grand Canal, the Grand Trianon and finally enter the Domain of Marie Antoinette, where her detachment from reality finally put paid Louis XIV's grand scheme for governing France. The Domaine of Marie Antoinette consists of the Petit Trianon Palace, her English gardens, theater and her Norman Village.
For this private tour of the Chateau de Versailles, Paris Luxury Tours provides a guide who is a university graduate specialized in the history and culture of France, 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 will share with you fascinating details that evoke the personalities of these personas, who defined the history of one of the most important countries in Europe and Europe itself. Our guides speak English as natural first language and they are expert, professionally licensed drivers, who will drive you safely and comfortably in upscale vehicles.
Cost for 1-3 persons: 850 € per group
--- for 4-6 persons: 950 € per group
Includes driver/guide, luxury vehicle, fuel and tolls.
Meals, entry fees, drinks not included.
Chartres Cathedral Tour|
Vaux le Vicomte Tour|
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Chartres Cathedral Tour
|The Gothic Cathedral demystified and explained in a way that reveals its glory|
|See Monet's home and what he considered his greatest work of art---his garden|
Vaux le Vicomte Tour
|See the chateau that spawned Versailles and ruined the career of its talented creator|