PhotoSecrets Versailles

A Photographer’s Guide

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A Photographer’s Guide
Andrew Hudson


La Rhône and Palace of VersaillesPlusONE/Shutterstock


119 views to photograph
Apollo Fountain and Palace of VersaillesIvan Bastien/Shutterstock
Hall of MirrorsWalter_g/Shutterstock
Louis XIV [Palace of Versailles]Delpixel/Shutterstock
The Mill left side with stairsAnna Moritz/Shutterstock
Mill rear with lavenderUrban/Wikipedia
South side of Queen’s HouseAnna Moritz/Shutterstock
Bacchus FountainS-F/Shutterstock
Ceiling of Galerie des BataillesDonald/Wikipedia
Chapel of VersaillesJiahui Huang/Flickr
Dairy interiorStarus/Wikipedia
Gold crown above fenceDennis Jarvis/Flickr
Gold crown over gateVasse nicolas,antoine/Flickr
Lake with Marlborough Tower and Queen’s HouseDaderot/Wikipedia
Marlborough Tower across lake from southeastStarus/Wikipedia
Marlborough Tower spiral staircaseTrizek/Wikipedia
The Mill right side with porticoStarus/Wikipedia
Peristyle of Grand TrianonAzurfrog/Wikipedia
Pyramid fountainMartin Robson/Wikipedia
Queen’s bedchamberGan/Wikipedia
Queen’s House Gallery from Billiard RoomStarus/Wikipedia
Queen’s House Gallery from Queen’s HouseStarus/Wikipedia
Round room in Grand TrianonAzurfrog/Wikipedia
Salon of MercuryS-F/Shutterstock
Temple of Love VersaillesMary416/Shutterstock
Water wheel of the MillStarus/Wikipedia
Abduction of PersephoneUrban/Wikipedia
Arch to Chapel of VersaillesVichie81/Shutterstock
Chapel of Versailles from the tribune royaleDiliff/Wikipedia
Cupid and cupolaStarus/Wikipedia
Dairy ram detailLomita/Wikipedia
Detail of Apollo FountainMiropink/Shutterstock
Detail of Bacchus FountainCoyau/Wikipedia
Detail of Latona FountainEdwin 11/Wikipedia
Farmhouse with sheepStarus/Wikipedia
Fountain of the Bosquet de l’Arc de TriomphePack-Shot/Shutterstock
Grotte des Bains d’ApollonKoakoo/Wikipedia
Guéridons in the Hall of MirrorsRyanmck/Wikipedia
King’s StaircaseTrizek/Wikipedia
Latona Fountain and Grand CanalPaolo Airenti/Shutterstock
Marlborough Tower across lake from the MillMoonik/Wikipedia
Marlborough Tower from Queen’s House galleryStarus/Wikipedia
Neptune fountainLuciano Guelfi/Flickr
Parterre BasUrban/Wikipedia
Queen’s House and Billiard RoomDalbera/Wikipedia
Queen’s House from Marlborough TowerStarus/Wikipedia
The Rock and BelvedereJose Losada/Flickr
Bosquet of the Three FountainsOo/Wikipedia
Bust of Berger at DairyCoyau/Wikipedia
Ceiling of the Opera TheaterMiguel Hermoso Cuesta/Wikipedia
Chapel of VersaillesGiano Ii/Wikipedia
Dovecote and Guard house from the Billiard RoomStarus/Wikipedia
Farmhouse with duck pondArnaud 25/Wikipedia
Galerie des BataillesAlbeins/Wikipedia
Guardhouse from Marlborough TowerStarus/Wikipedia
Guardhouse frontStarus/Wikipedia
Guardhouse sideStarus/Wikipedia
Interior Grand TrianonMkonikkara/Wikipedia
King’s BedchamberJean-Marie Hullot/Wikipedia
Marlborough Tower side close from northwestTrizek/Wikipedia
Marlborough Tower side from northeastArnaud 25/Wikipedia
Marlborough Tower side from northwestDeror Avi/Wikipedia
The Mill left side across lakeStarus/Wikipedia
Petit TrianonKallgan/Wikipedia
Queen’s bathroomMyrabella/Wikipedia
Queen’s House and Billiard Room left side with bridgeArnaud 25/Wikipedia
Queen’s House side with staircase towerStarus/Wikipedia
Queen’s TheateStarus/Wikipedia
Salon of VenusFastily/Wikipedia
Saturn FountainUrban/Wikipedia
Sphinx VersaillesStarus/Wikipedia
Versailles OrangerieCrochet David/Wikipedia
View of the Mill from Marlborough TowerStarus/Wikipedia
Billiard room of Marie-AntoinetteMyrabella/Wikipedia
Billiard Room rear with gardenStarus/Wikipedia
Cabinet de la MéridienneMyrabella/Wikipedia
Cabinet des jeux of Louis XVIFanny Schertzer/Wikipedia
Farm gate with wellStarus/Wikipedia
La ColonnadePlyd/Wikipedia
Le cabinet doréMyrabella/Wikipedia
L’Opéra of the Palace of VersaillesGnutoo/Wikipedia
Pièce de la vaisselle d’orFanny Schertzer/Wikipedia
Queen’s House and Billiard Room left side with pathArnaud 25/Wikipedia
Queen’s House rear with gardenStarus/Wikipedia
Queen’s House side with gardenStarus/Wikipedia
Queen’s libraryCoyau/Wikipedia
Rear of farmhouseStarus/Wikipedia
Salle des CroisadesPhgcom/Wikipedia
Salon d’HerculeGoutorbe75/Wikipedia
Salon of DianeCoyau/Wikipedia
Supplement de la bibliothèqueMyrabella/Wikipedia
Title made in ps-tidy-basic-content-arrayLomita/Wikipedia
Queen’s HamletUrban/Wikipedia


Map of Versailles

Map of Palace of Versailles


  • Entrance courtyards
  • Palace building
  • Back matter
  • About PhotoSecrets



    A great travel photo­graph requires you to be in the right place at the right time to capture that special moment. Professional photo­graphers have a short-hand phrase for this: “F8 and be there.”

    There are countless books that can help you with photo­graphic technique, the “F8” portion of that equation. But until now, there’s been little help for the other, more critical portion of that equation, the “be there” part. To find the right spot, you had to expend lots of time and shoe leather to essentially re-invent the wheel.

    In my career as a professional travel photo­grapher, well over half my time on location is spent seeking out the good angles. Andrew Hudson’s PhotoSecrets does all that legwork for you, so you can spend your time photo­graphing instead of wandering about. I wish I had one of these books for every city I photo­graph on assignment.

    PhotoSecrets can help you capture the most beautiful sights with a minimum of hassle and a maximum of enjoyment. So grab your camera, find your favorite PhotoSecrets spots, and “be there!”

    About Bob Krist

    Bob Krist has photo­graphed assignments for National Geographic, National Geographic Traveler, Travel/­Holiday, Smithsonian, and Islands. He won “Travel photo­grapher of the Year” from the Society of American Travel Writers in 1994, 2007, and 2008.

    For National Geographic, Bob has led round-the-world tours and a traveling lecture series. His book In Tuscany with Frances Mayes spent a month on The New York Times’ bestseller list and his how-to book Spirit of Place was hailed by American Photo­grapher magazine as “the best book about travel photo­graphy we’ve ever read.”

    The parents of three sons, Bob and his wife live in New Hope, Pennsylvania.


    Thank you for reading PhotoSecrets. As a fellow fan of travel and photo­graphy, I hope this guide will help you quickly find the most visually stunning places, and come home with equally stunning photo­graphs.

    PhotoSecrets is designed to show you all the best sights. Flick through, see the classic views, and use them as a departure point for your own creations. Flick through, enjoy the photos, and see which places inspire you. Get comp­osition ideas, lighting tips, and a brief history. It’ll be like traveling with a location scout and a pro-photo­grapher by your side.

    The idea for PhotoSecrets came during a trip to Thailand, when I tried to find the exotic beach used in the James Bond movie The Man with the Golden Gun. None of the guidebooks I had showed a picture, so I thought a guidebook of postcard photos would be useful for us photographers. If you have any ides for improvements, please send me an email at

    Now, start exploring — and take lots of photos!

    About Andrew Hudson

    Originally an engineer, Andrew Hudson started PhotoSecrets in 1995. His first book won the Benjamin Franklin Award for Best First Book and his second won the Grand Prize in the National Self-Published Book Awards.

    Andrew has published 15 nationally-distributed photo­graphy books. He has photo­graphed assignments for Macy’s, Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, Men’s Health and Seventeen, and been a location scout for Nikon. His photos and articles have appeared in Alaska Airlines, National Geographic Traveler, Shutterbug Outdoor and Nature photo­graphy, Where, and Woman’s World.

    Andrew has a degree in Computer Engineering from Manchester University and a certificate in copyright law from Harvard Law School. Born in Redditch, England, he lives with his wife, two kids, and two chocolate Labs, in San Diego, California.


    At a Glance

    Name:Palace of Versailles
    French:Château de Versailles
    GPS:48.804404, 2.123162
    Floor area:67,000 m2 (721,182 ft2)
    Far:18 km (11 miles) from center of Paris

    The Palace of Versailles, Château de Versailles, or simply Versailles vair-SY or vər-SY; ), is a royal château in Versailles in the Île-de-France region of France. It is now open as a museum, and a very popular tourist attraction.

    When the château was built, Versailles was a small village dating from the 11th century; today, however, it is a wealthy suburb of Paris, some 20 kilometres (12 miles) southwest of the centre of the French capital. Versailles was the seat of political power in the Kingdom of France from 1682, when King Louis XIV moved the royal court from Paris, until the royal family was forced to return to the capital in October 1789, within three months after the beginning of the French Revolution. Versailles is therefore famous not only as a building, but as a symbol of the system of absolute monarchy of the Ancien Régime.

    Especially under Louis XIV, the whole senior nobility were pressured to spend large amounts of time at Versailles, as a form of political control. Louis XIV evolved a rigid routine of court life as a performance, much of which took place in front of large groups of people, at some points in the day including tourists. Building the château and maintaining the court there was phenomenally expensive, but did a good deal to establish the dominance of French style and taste in the whole of Europe, giving French luxury manufacturing advantages that long outlasted the fall of the Ancien Régime.

    Louis XIV’s expansion of the building was begun around 1661, with Louis Le Vau as architect. It was not completed until about 1715, having been worked on by architects including François d’Orbay, Charles Le Brun (interiors especially), Jules Hardouin-Mansart and Robert de Cotte. André Le Nôtre began the gardens and structures in them. There were a range of satellite buildings around the grounds. While the main château building remains essentially intact, though without much of its contents, some of these have been destroyed.