The best tourist attractions in Versailles

Contrary to popular belief, Versailles is not merely the lavish former residence of the kings of France. The name of the palace comes from the city where it is located, Versailles.  As the wealthiest city in France, Versailles has more to show than the chateau, its most famous attraction. If you’re planning a daytrip to Versailles from Paris, then you will have plenty of things to occupy you in the palace, but if you want to linger around for a few days, there are other things worth seeing too, so here’s a list of the best tourist attractions in Versailles.

Potager du Roi

If you’ve seen where the kings slept, lived, washed and walked in their spare time, perhaps you’d be interested to see where the kings grew their vegetables. That’s right, the Potager du Roi (literally the King’s veggie garden) is the place where the ingredients for the elaborate Versailles dishes were grown. The garden was established by Louis XIV, and it still yields produce sold in the markets of Versailles.

The Temple of Love

If you visit the Petit Trianon, a small palace built in the parks of the Versailles palace, you could stop by the Temple of Love, a folly built on an island on the artificial stream running through the park. The twelve Corinthian columns and coffered dome shelter a copy of a statue by Edme Bouchardon, the original of which can be found in the Louvre.

The Royal Stables

Another attraction with royal connection, the Royal Stables is a fun place for anyone who likes horses. If you plan your visit according to the Stables’ event schedule, you can get to see a royal horse show, which is quite interesting. In addition, the former stable buildings now house a Museum of Coaches which showcases sleights, sedans, chaises and the like from the 19th century on.

Grandes Eaux Musicales

This beautiful garden has more fountains than you can imagine, so many that there is a distinctive sound the whole area. The largest fountain dates back to the 16th century and it is called the Basin de Neptune, consisting of 99 individual fountains. Explore the wooded groves while listening to classical music.

Paroisse Saint Symphorien

The chapel of Saint Symphorien is one of the oldest buildings in the city, and parts of it date back to the 6th century. The structure was expanded under the reign of Louis XV, but the architecture still has classical overtones. The interior is quiet and dignified, and there are several very interesting paintings to see. For a history buff, this is definitely one of the best tourist attractions in Versailles.


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