Château de Versailles

Today, we visited the completely outrageous palace of Versailles.  The last time we were here was in 2010, so we knew we had to come back now that Violet is old enough to remember this time.

We took the Metro into the city, met our amazing guide Marie-Claire, and then boarded the train to Versailles. Once we got there, we were able to bypass the ever growing line and go in a separate entrance.  These types of crowds are new to us because we have always traveled in May and missed the big summer tourist season.  Europe in summer is still very doable, but you have to plan in advance or you will spend most of your visit lining up with irritable travelers.

These are the ornate palace gates that display many of the symbols of Louis XIV, the horn of abundance, Apollo the sun God, the crown and the double “L” initials.

This is the exterior detail and stained glass windows of the unbelievable Royal chapel.

You can see the “L” for Louis everywhere in this palace.  He was known as the Sun King, and since he thought of himself as a type of Demi-God,  there are references to Apollo (the Sun God) and Hercules (symbol of strength and also a demi—God) in almost every room.

Here, Marie-Claire is showing us the ornate 17th century doors.  Underneath the gold leaf is red paint, used to make the gold look richer.

This is the second level of the Royal Chapel.

and the organ…

And here is a scultpure of the Sun King in all his glory looking like a Roman Gladiator.

We walked through all of the ornate rooms dedicated to various Roman Gods.  This one is the room of Apollo and you can see his representation on this ceiling painting.

This room was dedicated to Venus.

And this is the exquisite Hall of Mirrors…

We also saw the private quarters of King Louis the XIV and the royal bedroom before heading out to the gardens.

They really are spectacular!

This is the incredible Collonade, totally hidden in the “forest.”

This is the Apollo Fountain.  Hayden and Vi threw in a coin to make a wish to return to France soon.

We only covered a tiny bit of the gardens today, so we will need to come back again soon.  Violet really wanted to see the Hamlet - the “farm" Marie Antoinette created so she and her friends could pretend to be commoners. 

We had the best time and thanks to our guide, learned so much about French history. We are going to try to have a somewhat early night tonight because we have to leave our apartment at 6:00 am to catch our train to Luxembourg.

© Knstrong 2013