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Versailles
Unincorporated community
Country United States
State Louisiana
Parish St. Bernard Parish
Coordinates 29°56′54″N 89°57′39″W / 29.94833°N 89.96083°W / 29.94833; -89.96083
Timezone CST (UTC-6)
 - summer (DST) CDT (UTC-5)
Location of Versailles in Louisiana
Location of Louisiana in the United States

Versailles is a community in Saint Bernard Parish, Louisiana. It is along the East Bank of the Mississippi River, about 3.5 miles below the lower limit of New Orleans. The community, for governmental and postal address purposes, is considered part of Chalmette and by some designations, part of neighboring Meraux. The name "Versailles", as a place designation, continues in local use.

History

Versailles was founded by plantation owner Pierre Denis De La Ronde in the second half of the 1810s. De La Ronde, and other local investors, made plans to lay out Versailles along the River and cut a barge canal through some dozen miles of swamp to the shore of Lake Pontchartrain, where he would build another town, called "Paris". (These communities were to be named for the famous Paris and Versailles in France.) De La Ronde proclaimed that this Versailles would soon overtake New Orleans in size and importance. Such development never happened. Versailles remained just a small town for the rest of the 19th century, the proposed Paris on the Lakefront never developed, and no navigable canal linked the River and the Lake until the Industrial Canal was built in New Orleans in the 20th century.

Versailles is sometimes mistakenly used to refer to the De La Ronde plantation itself, considered the most stylish plantation in that part of Louisiana in its day. There is no evidence, however, that De La Ronde himself referred to the plantation by that name. The ruins of the plantation remain visible along Highway 46 in St Bernard Parish, as does the Live Oak alley that once graced the path from the Mississippi River landing to the plantation house.

De La Ronde's road fared better; his path through the swamps developed into a major artery, and Paris Road remains the furthest down-river route connecting the River with the Lake in the Greater New Orleans Metropolitan Area.

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