The Palace of Versailles Gardens

Designed by André Le Nôtre, the Garden of Versailles or the Palace of Versailles Gardens, rank among the largest in the world.

The gardens are the product of the hard work of countless men and riches.

The construction of the gardens began simultaneously with the palace and lasted for about 40 years.

Some interesting facts about the Palace of Versailles Gardens are:

  • Home to over 400 statues, it stands as the world’s largest open-air sculpture museum.
  • These magnificent gardens, envisioned by the legendary André Le Nôtre, are not merely decorative but also an engineering marvel, with over 55 water features and 600 fountains. 

At its zenith, the Versailles’ Gardens could host over 5,000 people.

The Orangery

The Orangery
Image: ChateauVersailles.fr

The Orangery, with 1,055 trees, is one of the most lavish sections of the Palace of Versailles Gardens. 

It also has a gallery, an ornamental garden and a circular pond at the center.

This pond is the centerpiece for six elegantly arranged mosaic lawns.

Here, you can find some of Louis XIV’s favorite plants, such as orange, lemon, pomegranate, olive, and palm trees.

Parterres and Paths

Parterres And Paths
Image: ChateauVersailles.fr

There are three majestic parterres in the Palace of Versailles Gardens: the North Parterre, South Parterre and Water Parterre.

The Water Parterre consists of two large rectangular pools reflecting onto the Hall of Mirrors, making it a scene of light and shade.

The North parterre is divided into two sections with a circular pool at the center of each, and two bronze statues indicate the start of this parterre.

The South Parterre, or the Jardin des Fleurs, is accessible via a short flight of stairs, during which you can see two impressive bronze statues of sphinxes.

Palace of Versailles Gardens fun fact: 

The Palace of Versailles Gardens comes alive with captivating fountain shows and musical garden performances each year. 

The fountain shows run on Saturday evenings from 8 June to 21 September, along with select dates such as 14 July, 28 June, and 15 August.

The Night Fountains Show takes place on Friday, 28 June, and Thursday, 15 August.
You can enjoy the beauty of the Palace of Versailles Musical Gardens and Great Musical Waters from 29 March to 31 October with Versailles Palace and Gardens full access ticket.


The Groves
Image: ChateauVersailles.fr

The Groves in the Gardens of the Palace of Versailles are made up of 15 smaller groves decorated with statues, vases, and fountains.

These Palace of Versailles Groves are namely:

  • Queen’s Grove
  • Ballroom Grove 
  • Chestnut grove 
  • Apollo’s Baths Grove 
  • Girandole Grove
  • Colonnade Grove
  • Grove of the Domes
  • Enceladus Grove
  • Obelisk Grove
  • Star Grove
  • Water Theatre Grove
  • Grove of the Three Fountains 
  • Triumphal Arch Grove

Each grove is filled with beautiful greenery and enhanced with ornaments and decor.

Water Features 

Versailles gardens showcase diverse water features like cascades, fountains, and serene pools, highlighting the dominance of water over plants by reflecting the sky and sun.

The Palace of Versailles gardens fountains are:

  • The Four Seasons Fountains

Spring or Flora Fountain, Summer or Ceres Fountain, Autumn or Bacchus Fountain and Winter or Saturn Fountain, each with flowing water and intricate sculptures. 

  • Fountains of the fight of the animals 

Crafted by Jules Hardouin-Mansart, the Diana or Evening Fountain and Daybreak Fountain depict scenes of primal strength and nature’s balance.

  • The Dragon Fountain 

The tallest fountain in the garden depicts a reptile guarded by playful dolphins and cherubic figures. 

  • The Neptune Fountain 

A marvel of hydraulic engineering overseen by Le Nôtre, features sculpted groups representing the sea deity and his entourage. 

  • Latona’s Fountain

This fountain tells a touching tale of maternal protection by Apollo’s and Diana’s mother and divine justice. 

  • Apollo’s Fountain 

This fountain captures the glory of the Sun god in his eternal dance across the heavens. 

Other water features include the Mirror Pool, crafted by Le Nôtre in 1672, that pairs with the Royal Isle Fountain and Diana’s Nymphs’ Bath, gathering water from the Pyramid Fountain. 

The Walks

The Walks
Image: ChateauVersailles.fr

The Walks of the Palace of Versailles Gardens are considered the most elegant section aligned with fountains, water basins and lush trees.

The Water Walk, a beautiful stretch lined with 14 fountains, starts at the Neptunes fountain, crosses the Water Parterre and ends at the Orangery.

The Royal Way, or the Great Lawn, gets its beauty from the variety of trees and sculptures made by Puget that line the path.

This Walk starts at Leto’s amphitheater and ends at the Iconic Apollo’s Fountain.

Be sure to take some Palace of Versailles Gardens images to capture the stunning beauty and intricate details of this iconic masterpiece of landscape architecture.

Visiting Details  

Palace of Versailles Gardens hours during the high season (April to October) are 8 am to 8.30 pm.

In the low season, the Gardens have a shorter schedule from November to March, open from 8 am to 6 pm. 

Please note that closures may happen for special events or during the Fountains Night Shows, with gates closing at 5:30 pm. 

To access the Palace of Versailles Gardens, you can navigate from the top left-hand side of the Cour d’Honneur, proceeding through the gate of the courtyard of the Princes. 

Between April and October, entry to the gardens requires a fee from Tuesday to Sunday, particularly on days featuring the Fountain Shows and Musical Gardens. 

We recommend purchasing a Passport ticket online for access to the entire estate.

You can also opt for a Grandes Eaux/Jardins Musicaux ticket at the garden entrance. 

Palace of Versailles Gardens entrance from the Palace is through the Royal Courtyard via the ‘Bois Sud’ passageway. 

From the town, the Gardens are accessible through different gates of the Estate.

Palace of Versailles Gardens facts: 

A circular panoramic view of Versailles was painted by John Vanderlyn between 1818 and 1819 in Kingston, New York, and New York City.

The oil on canvas Palace and Gardens of Versailles painting, ‘Panoramic view of the Palace and Gardens of Versailles’ is on view at The Met Fifth Avenue.

Guided Tours

The Palace of Versailles guided tours are one way to explore the Gardens. 

You can opt for a tour of the palace and visit the Gardens on your own or choose a guided Garden tour as well.  

Here are some of the popular Gardens of Versailles guided tours:

You can update for a 45-minute guided tour of the Gardens, with additional access to Marie Antoinette’s estate and the Trianon.

You can cycle through town and palace grounds, explore the gardens and fountains, visit the farmers market at Marie Antoinette’s Hamlet, and savor a picnic lunch by the Grand Canal.


How big was the Palace of Versailles and Gardens?

The Palace of Versailles and its extensive gardens, including the Park, Trianon estate, and surrounding buildings, cover over 800 hectares or 721,206 square feet.

How were the gardens completed in the Palace of Versailles?

The Gardens at the Palace of Versailles, embodying the French-style landscaping of formal flowerbeds and geometric layouts, were completed through great efforts.

Trees were sourced from various regions of France. At the height of Louis XIV’s reign, a workforce of 7000 individuals tended to the gardens.

The Palace and Gardens of Versailles were built by?

The Palace and Gardens of Versailles were commissioned by Louis XIV in 1661. 

André Le Nôtre was tasked with designing and renovating the Palace of Versailles Gardens architecture. 

Construction lasted about 40 years, with Jules Hardouin-Mansart adding iconic fountains, such as those depicting fighting animals with remarkable realism.

How many gardens are in the Palace of Versailles?

The Palace of Versailles features several gardens spread over 250 hectares. 

These gardens host a stunning arrangement of 600 fountains,372  sculptures, parterres, walks, groves, 55 water features, and a network of over 20 miles of water pipes.

What is special about the Gardens of Versailles?

Versailles Gardens boast over 400 statues, making them the world’s biggest open-air sculpture museum!

The statues lining the pathways are marble, while those adorning the fountains are often gilded lead or metal.

Can I just visit Versailles Gardens?

The access to the Versailles Gardens is free, but it is best to visit the Gardens during the Fountains Show or the Musical Show.

However, you can always go for the passport ticket, which is a full-access ticket to Versailles Palace, Gardens, and shows during peak seasons.

Featured Image: Chateauversailles.fr

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