Versailles Fountains (Les Fontaines)
More than 30 fountains dot the gardens of Versailles, the most famous being the Apollo fountain, with its horses and chariot, and the Neptune fountain featuring the god of the oceans with his wife. Built in the 17th century, when water was a scarce commodity, the Versailles Fountains (Les Fontaines) were a lavish show of Louis XIV’s wealth and power.
The Palace of Versailles is one of the most popular day trips from Paris, and a visit wouldn’t be complete without a wander through the fountain-filled gardens. While entrance to the gardens is typically free, there is an admission charge during Musical Fountains shows. A day trip to Versailles includes a guided walking tour of Louis XIV’s 700-room palace, a walk through the gardens, and a Versailles fountain show if one is planned on the day of your visit.
Things to Know Before You Go
The Versailles fountains are a highlight of any palace tour.
Don’t forget to bring sunscreen, sunglasses, and a hat, as the gardens don’t have much shade.
Opt for a tour with skip-the-line access to enjoy more time inside the palace complex and gardens.
The Versailles gardens are wheelchair- and stroller-accessible; both are available to rent.
How to Get There
The most convenient way to visit the fountains (as well as the rest of the palace grounds) is by joining a guided day trip from Paris. If you’re traveling independently, take the train from Paris to Versailles Château Rive Gauche.
When to Get There
The best time to enjoy the fountains of Versailles is on weekends between April and October and some summer Tuesdays, when the water dances to musical accompaniment. Come on an evening in July or August to see the fountains illuminated.
Dancing Water of the Sun King
King Louis XIV was more than a little infatuated with fountains; in fact, it was the Sun King’s dream to create water at play throughout his grand estate. At the height of Versailles, the grounds featured over 2,000 fountains, including one that pumped water from the Seine. It’s rumored that the water bill was at one point a third of the palace’s total operating budget.
- Versailles Gardens (Jardins de Versailles)
- Neptune Fountain (Bassin de Neptune)
- King’s State Apartment (Grand Appartement du Roi)
- Orangerie of Versailles (l’Orangerie de Versailles)
- Hall of Mirrors (Galerie des Glaces)
- Grand Canal
- Versailles Royal Chapel (La Chapelle Royale)
- Scent Courtyard (Cour des Senteurs)
- Marie-Antoinette's Estate
- Royal Opera of Versailles (L'Opéra Royal du Château de Versailles)
- Grand Trianon
- Academy of Equestrian Arts