17 Fascinating Versailles Facts that You Should Know

Welcome to Versailles, the de facto capital 😲of the Kingdom of France!

From its rich cultural heritage to its alluring natural landscapes, it offers captivating facts for you to discover!

This article will offer some interesting facts about Versailles that will surely leave you amazed! Let’s start 😊 this exciting journey!

Amazing Versailles Facts

Versailles City: Insights on the location 

 Yvelines Department In Versailles

Little fact-enthusiasts, did you know where the beautiful city of Versailles is located 🤔? No?? Let me explain.

Versailles is a city that is located around 17 kilometers west of Paris.

It takes about thirty minutes by train from the most western station in Paris and anywhere from twenty to forty-five minutes by car🚗. Versailles is located on an elevated plateau that is 130 to 140 meters above sea level.

Versailles City is located within the Yvelines department, which is located within the Ile-de-France region.

Versailles City: Founded at King Louis XIV’s will

I am quite amazed to know this interesting fact about the foundation of Versailles City!

At the will of King Louis XIV, a new town was founded. It was known as Versailles, which became the de facto capital of the Kingdom of France for more than a century that is from 1682 to 1789.

Later, it became the cradle of the French Revolution. After losing its status as a royal city in 1790, it turned out to be the regional capital or prefecture of the Seine-et-Oise department and then of Yvelines in 1968. 

It was even a Roman Catholic diocese!

Versailles: The origin of its name

Cradle of Liberty In Versailles

The argument over the origin of the name Versailles tends to prefer the Latin term Versare. It means “to keep turning, turn over and over.”

It is actually an expression used in medieval times for cleared lands, plowed lands, or lands that are repeatedly ‘turned over.’

This word is similar to Latin seminare or ‘to sow,’ which created the French term semailles, meaning “sowings.”

During the Revolution of 1789, city officials suggested renaming it Versailles Berceau-de-la-Liberte or “Cradle of Liberty.” However, they had to retract their proposal after being confronted with the objections of the majority of the population.

Versailles: The area and population facts

The city of Versailles has an area of 6469 acres, which is actually a quarter of the area of Paris City.

It is surrounded by wooded hills; in the south, there are the forests of Satory and Meudon, and in the north, we will see the forests of Marly and Fausses-Reposes.

The city of Versailles has a population 👨 👩density of 8660 square miles, whereas the population density of Paris is 53,602 square miles.

Versailles was a very modern European city and was even used as a model for the construction of Washington, D.C. Isn’t it impressive?

Agriculture in Versailles: A producer of many agricultural products

Agriculture In Versailles

The area of the city of Versailles is, no doubt, quite fertile. Thus, it is a great area for cultivation. The agriculture in this area supports the cultivation of corn🌽, wheat, sunflowers, barley, legumes, rapeseed, and sugar beets.

Also, fruits, flowers 🌻, and vegetables🥬 are grown here. In Val-d’Oise, between Montmorency and Pontoise, even mushrooms are cultivated on a large scale in limestone caves.

Due to the great urban sprawl of Paris, agriculture is concentrated in Ile-de-France’s outer areas, especially in the department of Seine-et-Marne.

Though here farm holdings are large, they employ quite a small percentage of the workforce.

Versailles Villages: Its history from the 13th century to 1643

Versailles Villages

If you are a history buff, like me, then you will surely love this interesting secret about Versailles!

After a series of notable events like the Black Death and the Hundred Years’ War in the 14th century, Versailles came under the French monarchy👑. It was the time when Louis XIII purchased the total land in 1632 from Jean-Francois de Gondi.

The village of Versailles at that time had around 1000 residents.

Louis XIII’s hunting lodge in the village was expanded at that time into a small castle during 1632-1634, eventually laying the basis for the Palace of Versailles.

Versailles and Louis XIV: The city’s history from 1643 to 1715

I am really thrilled to learn this amazing secret about Versailles!

The landscape of the city flourished under King Louis XIV. Later, the castle was expanded, resulting in the French government and court being permanently established in the city on May 6, 1682. 

This interesting shift even experienced a new city emerging with the land made available to anyone, and the old village changed into new neighborhoods of Saint-Louis and Notre Dame, along with new churches⛪, markets, aristocratic buildings, and an increasing population of 30,000 residents.

Versailles City: Explore its remarkable gardens and parks

Versailles Garden

The Gardens of Versailles play a vital role in strengthening the natural heritage of the city and are famous as the most magnificent gardens on the planet.

Here, we will see the King’s Kitchen Garden, famous as a monument listed in UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites.

The Pond of the Swiss is located here, which is a remarkable garden 🌳 where people love to take a relaxing stroll around its pool of 13-hectare.

Also, the Garden and Court of Scents is a great place to excite people’s senses. Some other gardens here are the Park of Madame Elisabeth’s estate, the Balbi Park, etc.

Versailles and The Seat of Power: The city from 1682 to 1789

Love historical secrets? Then you will surely love this exciting fact about Versailles City!

From the year 1682, until King Louis XIV’s death, the beautiful city remained the unofficial capital of the French monarchy! Versailles grew multifold in the coming years and turned out to be the most powerful capital in entire Europe because everyone loved its new architectural designs.

Many royal buildings were constructed, one which the Treaty of Paris was signed in 1783. By the year 1789, the population of Versailles touched 60,000, which made it one of the largest cities in Europe!

Versailles and its oceanic climate

Beautiful Versailles has an oceanic climate; thus, its summer days are generally warm and comfortable with average temperatures between 59 and 77 degrees Fahrenheit. The city even receives a fair amount of sunshine☀️.

During the winter season, days are cool and sunshine is scarce, also nights are cold but usually above freezing temperatures. Though light night frosts are common, the temperature still doesn’t dip below 23 degrees Fahrenheit.

Also, snow falls every year, but does not stay on the ground. 

Versailles: The cradle of French Revolution

I am really impressed to explore this interesting secret about Versailles City! What about you?

The city was the cradle of the French Revolution. Here, the General Assembly, followed by the National Constituent Assembly met and even abolished feudalism in the year 1789. 

In October 1789, the invasion of the palace forced the royal family to move back to the city of Paris!

Versailles lost its honor or title as the capital and the Palace of Versailles was stripped of its grandeur. Later, it became a nostalgia for the monarchy.

The Palace of Versailles

Palace Of Versailles

In 1682, the world-famous Palace of Versailles 🏰was constructed by Louis XIV when he moved his government and royal family to Versailles City!

It is believed to be one of the most remarkable achievements of European architecture in the 17th century! 

The chateau has richly adorned royal courtyards, apartments, huge estate gardens and magnificent fountains⛲. All of these make the palace one of the top attractions in France!

The Estate of Trianon, the Hall of Mirrors, and the magnificent gardens with amazing sculptures are the main attractions here.

Versailles: Marie Antoinette had her own private village

Did you hear about this amazing fact about Versailles?

Despite being the queen of the huge Palace of Versailles, Marie Antoinette constructed a mini palace called the Petit Trianon. She even created a little French town around it. The town included a farm, servants’ quarters, and more. 

Also, she created a Temple of Love which had a statue of Cupid.

The Antiquarian District: A perfect shopping district

Oh! Shopping 🛍️! How much I wish to enjoy some!

The Antiquarian District located near the palace is a place preferred by most antique lovers! Here, we will see beautiful furniture, jwelery, antique toys, paintings both old and contemporary, porcelain, and many more.

This area even is home to the first prison and court of Versailles, the Bailiwick. Here, you can see another impressive structure called the Square, ‘Le Carre,’ which was mainly the stables of Bailiwick. However, today, both complexes are craftsmen shops for paintings, antiques, and artifacts. 

The area even has picturesque stairways and passages.

Sports in Versailles: The city loves football

People of Versailles love to enjoy soccer! Quite impressive, right?

Founded in 1989, Football Club de Versailles 78 is a semi-professional association football ⚽club in the city. Their home stadium is the Stade de Montbauron, with a capacity of 6208 people.

Montbauron and Montreuil in Versailles: Meet districts with cobblestone lanes

I am quite amazed 😄 to explore this interesting secret about Versailles City!

Located next to the Avenue de Paris leading up to the Palace, Montreuil and Montbauron are famous districts with cobblestone lanes.

The closeness of these districts to the palace also made it a great place for royals to step away from the Royal Court!

Notre Dame Area in Versailles: The oldest part established by Louis XIV

The Notre Dame Area in Versailles is believed to be the oldest area established by Louis XIV. It is very organized and has an irresistible old-time charm!

The Notre Dame Cathedral⛪ is a top attraction in the city and the Notre Dame Squares are definitely the best markets in the area.

Also, the first octagonal town square of the country was located here.

Summing up

We hope! Knowing about the above Versailles facts will satisfy your curious 😄 soul!

From its amazing museums and royal gardens to its amazing art 🖼️and culture, what in Versailles attracts you the most?

As we are already together on this memorable journey, we would love to get your answer.

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