Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Versailles France

Woke up very excited this morning not only are we heading to Paris, it's my birthday and I have the whole day planned.  Jim's job is to smile, make a way through the crowds and buy the entry tickets.  First stop Versailles.  Not sure what I was expecting but definitely not a beautiful town/district full of people, it does have a big university so I guess I shouldn't have been too surprised.  We were getting a little worried about all the people and how busy the Palace of Versailles was going to be.  Well shockingly it was fine.  There is a bus parking lot as big as a football field, with only about 8 buses in it.  We managed to get a spot right up by the doors, bonus.

Buy our tickets for the palace, the gardens were free today and off we go with our little audio radio.  This is now when the lament of the next 3 days first appeared.  OH MY GOSH, could you imagine this in July.  The rooms were still filled with people, cameras flashing everywhere, selfie sticks, go pro cameras, I'm surprised no one had a drone.

Starting off as a hunting lodge holding 15 people under Louis XIII, it soon became the actual palace when Louis XIV (also known as Louis the Great and the Sun King) moved out of Paris and set up his court in Versailles and the expansion began.  If you want to see some great pictures of the Palace and read about the history, check out this webpage it is amazing and there aren't any people in the pictures.

Imagine watching a concert in the Royal Chapel.  

This is the key to the chapel.  There was probably a servant assigned to taking care of the key.

The wall facing the gardens is all doors.  This is where the fireworks would be watched from if you didn't want to go out into the gardens.  No crowds in October - great, but no flowers in the gardens means my imagination has to pull up some of those great movies I watched growing up, like Les Miserables.

I keep trying to figure out how tall the people were, who needed such tall doors and ceilings.  They definitely weren't worried about their electricity bills.  

Paintings and statues adorned the walls.  My taste definitely ran to the dashing musketeer types :)

A bust of Louis XIV

King Louis XIV moved his bedroom so he was facing the rising sun.  The opulence and how he was treated was hard to fathom.  After the revolution the palace was plundered and a number of the artifacts were lost.  

The Hall of Mirrors was restored in 2007 to it's previous grandeur (I'm not sure that the 6 foot tall candlesticks were real gold).  I am thinking the next movie made about Louis the XVI and Marie Antoinette, the movie company should donate all the costumes on mannequins to place in the hall.  You could picture their ghosts whispering and gossiping about all of us with our cameras flashing as we wandered through the room.  LOL

This is where the Louis XIV ate, His wife and children were allowed to sit with him.  His dinner was served at 10 pm.  There was a row of stools for the Duchesses and another row along the back wall where the courtiers and onlookers could watch every mouthful he took.  It's amazing he was able to eat anything, knowing every mouthful he took would be talked about later.

This was a mirror that rotated constantly.  


That tower in the picture is being renovated and will be a waterfall.  Yes I can picture the fireworks going off behind it.

A wonderful morning wandering the halls I had only expected to visit through my reading and movie watching.  I would definitely recommend watching a movie about Versailles before you go, just to bring it even more to life.  

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