No, fireworks are not just a 4th of July experience. The thrill, suspense and suddenness of the thundering multicolored splendor of bright orange sparkles – and spirals – that light up the night sky, is something that drives many festive events today. Whether it’s New Year’s Eve, the start of the Summer Olympics, the premiere of a blockbuster movie, or a religious celebration like Diwali, fireworks have come to define almost all of our celebrations. Private or public events: weddings and wars, farewells and funerals, all feature spectacular bursts of flamboyant color – with ever-increasing abandon. We are enchanted, no, hypnotized by fireworks. And for those willingly under a dopamine spell, Versailles delivers epic fireworks, if a bit lost in the city’s bountiful cocktail of attractions.
But let’s face it; you can’t cross the Atlantic to watch a fireworks display, no matter how unusual or popular. Fortunately, Versailles offers a delightful cornucopia of attractions and seductions, including the historic Castle of Versaillesthe former residence of Marie-Antoinette, France’s most infamous queen. Fortunately, this fireworks display, with its unique charm and brilliance that is almost impossible to resist, takes place in the palace gardens.
Everything about the Versailles fireworks
Summer or winter, Versailles is extravagantly beautiful. Located about 24 km from the city center of Paris, also known as “The City of Light”, Versailles is a place where this nickname meets its perfect definition. The iconic palace, an architectural tour de force, is one of the most visited buildings in France. And it’s not just the architectural magnificence. The 2,300-room castle is a symbol of France’s tumultuous history. First, the centralization of power and the triumph of the monarchy. Then, with the revolution, and the pillage that followed, the rise and triumph of republicanism.
Today, people come to admire the iconic palace for a variety of reasons. Some come to admire the absolutely breathtaking palace gardens. Some come to marvel at the palace’s 50 water-spitting fountains and take part in the more than 600 fun water games offered in the palace’s picturesque surroundings. Then others come for the thrill and electrifying experience of the fireworks display. These shows take place during the summer months of June, July, August and the first half of September. The show begins well after sunset under the beautiful Parisian sky. With nature’s light completely removed or eclipsed, the stage is set for one of the most striking human achievements: man’s ability to create light.
Travelers should plan to arrive at the palace between 7:30 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. At this time, you will find a carnival vibe and palpable excitement all around. This show is obviously out in the open; and the cool, sometimes chilly evening air, with its characteristic gentle breeze, adds to the excitement and anticipation. The magnificent groves are artistically decorated and the gardens now sparkle like diamonds, with beautifully set lanterns and candles all around. And in the distance there is the hum and sound of soft, baroque music – playing softly – and punctuating the dreamlike ambience. Time seems to stand still as you wander the palace’s winding walkways and manicured lawns on the east-west axis, known as the Grand Perspective. Here, captivating statues, beautiful pools and artistically carved topiaries, all beautifully lit, ignite a glowing flame of aesthetic reverence in the heart.
The Grand Perspective itself is a centerpiece of natural charm and charisma. There’s the Fountain of Latona, a bubbling incarnation of Apollo, the famous Greek god of the sun and lights, a short walk away. The Latona Fountain is an apt reminder of the depiction and representation of Louis XIV as the Sun King who freely administers benevolence from a high and lofty pedestal, to the far reaches of his vast kingdom. Here, colorful and evanescent bubbles float beautifully and reflect the rays of the many lights and lanterns all around. The iridescent hues of light shimmering and shimmering all around, add to the delicate flourish and flair of the ambience. Everything here looks and feels peacefully ethereal.
From here you can head to the Roman Colonnade, another picturesque structural masterpiece that has architectural echoes of ancient Greece and Rome. The Roman colonnade has many impressive arches and columns. This place is tucked away from the hustle and bustle of the palace and erected in a quiet and serene neighborhood, surrounded by leafy trees and groves, which stand and watch in silence, as if aware of their aesthetic contribution .
Now is the time to experience the explosive climax – the ravishing fireworks that should bring your trip to a loud and noisy crescendo. To experience this fascinating fusion of science and art, head to the breathtakingly beautiful Grand Canal at the edge of the Palace Gardens. Cleverly choreographed to perfection, the sky soars and roars cataclysmically – in strong, colorful sparks and spirals – bringing a burst of vivid light and dazzlingly illuminating the cold, dark sky.
Now is the time to go home or back to your hotel room. If you are still depressed and melancholy, you have not had an intimate and spiritual encounter with Versailles.
- Distance: 30-40 minutes from Paris.
- Best time to arrive: 7:45 p.m.
- Cheapest transportation: The trains. (7.3€ for a round trip)
Following: Versailles: a world heritage site that no one wants to miss in France
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