We had been to Paris several times before for the zeal of exploring the awe-inspiring destinations in France which could be done on a day trip from Paris but Versailles never made up to out bucket list. We presumed it to be just another palace housing museums depicting the history of wars, conquests, the successors and their queens.
We planned another visit to Paris to explore the enchanting gardens of Giverny, we had a spare day at hand and were looking for an easy day trip from Paris. We finally decided to make it to Versailles. And how wrong were we!
One of the world’s largest palace and a UNESCO’s World Heritage site, the opulent palace is resplendent with impeccable artwork, sumptuously decorated rooms and inimitable grandeur.
The plan to build this sublime building was laid down by Louis XIV to transform and expand his father’s hunting lodge in Versailles amidst the abundance greens into the seat of absolute power.
From the station walk past restaurants, souvenir shops, and cafes. Take a turn from this bustling street to be overwhelmed by the vistas of the palace unfurling its splendor. An equestrian statue of a Louis XIV stands with a magnificent palace epitomizing his power rising in the backdrop.
The imperial place emanates a golden glow accentuating the fine gilded details and the elegance of the artwork in statues, stone ornamentations, and embellished pillars.
We joined the queue which dissolved quickly. We displayed our online booked ticket and after a quick security check entered into the cobblestone courtyard. Baby pushchairs with metal frames are not allowed in rooms so we had to leave back the stroller.
We collected the audio guides and started the tour of the palace at the two-storey Royal Chapel. The Chapel has an impressive organ located at the altar with the ceiling painted with illustrations from both the Old Testament and New Testament. The ground level was used by public and a set of stairs leading to tribune level known as salon de la Chapelle was used by the royal family.
SALON DE LA CHAPELLE
THE KING’S GRAND APARTMENT
The salon de la Chapelle leads to 7 salons named after the Roman Gods. The sumptuously decorated rooms were used for public affairs.
HALL OF MIRRORS
The Hall of Mirrors or the Grande Galerie is most popular room at Versailles. The principal features of the hall are 357 mirrors reflecting arcaded windows overlooking the gardens, elegant gilded sculptures on both sides along the nave, the gorgeous crystal chandeliers and the ceiling painting depicting kings royal power and glory.
The Treaty of Versailles, which officially ended the WWI was signed here in the Hall of Mirrors.
The lavishly decorated royal bed canopied with rich brocade lied facing the sun. In this room the royal rising and retiring ceremonies of the King took place. The Sun KingLouis XIV died in this room.
The decoration of the Queen’s Apartment is very much similar to the Kings apartment. The Queen’s Bedchamber was the place where the queen gave birth to the heirs to the throne which was a public event.
Lavishly furnished apartment of daughters of Louis XV
HOQUETONS SALON – Guards room.
MUSEUM OF THE HISTORY OF FRANCE
Exhibits depicting the history of Versailles palace as well as France.
The 800 hectares of lush green gardens with manicured lawns, flower beds, sculptures and spectacular monumental fountains all were a great way to entertain the guests of parties hosted by King Louis XIV. Musical fountain show takes place on particular days of the week from April to October. Check here for more info.
So when are you planning a visit to the royal palace of Versailles? Which part of the palace is your favorite? Do share with us in comments.
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