Originally Louis XIII’s hunting lodge, Versailles was transformed on a grand scale by his successor Louis XIV, and from the 1680s until the French Revolution it became the principle residence of the French monarchy. Designed for court life and lavish entertainment the palace was often swarmed by thousands of courtiers and government officials. Today you can visit Versailles on your own accompanied by one of our guides. Explore the hauntingly beautiful apartments, rare surviving examples of the Rocaille style and closed to the general public. Then on to the king’s private bedchamber, Louis XVI’s private library and the black cabinet – an office where the correspondence of suspected individuals was read in secret – as well as the exquisite and little-known Opera Royale. Versailles is a great highlight in a wider Paris adventure.