When I found out that we were going to spend a few day in Paris, visiting Versailles was one of the top sights on my list. Even though I knew from pictures that it was big, lavish and luxurious, I truly had no idea until we got there and I saw it with my own eyes. No wonder the Revolution took place! Good grief! Versailles is about a 40 minute train ride from Paris. Of course that depends on where you are in Paris. We got on the train near the Eiffel Tower.
Upon seeing the golden gates, all I could think about was how grand a life the Kings lived, and what poverty the rest of France lived in. You were either born wealthy or poor, and you stayed that way the rest of your life. Three Kings lived here, and Versailles was the residence of those Kings and France’s seat of government for a hundred years. Louis XIV (who did all the expansion you see today) reigned seventy-two years, three months, and eighteen days.
The middle section of the palace is the original chateau, which was once a small hunting lodge where Louis XIV spent his childhood years. Louis XIV was also known as the Sun King because “he gave life and warmth to all he touched.”
Gag me with one of your silver spoons Louis. Louis’ bedroom faced the rising sun and is the three arched windows seen in this middle section. Later, he built the attached wings that now make the U-shape.
Upon entering, we went straight into the Royal Chapel. Every morning at 10 the music would play and Louis XIV and his family stepped onto the balcony to attend Mass. While Louis looked down on the altar, his nobles on the ground floor knelt with their backs to the altar and looked up, worshipping Louis worshipping God which is redonk.
The Hall of Mirrors was created when mirrors were still a great luxury. The hall is nearly 250 feet long. There are 17 arched mirrors matched by 17 windows letting in the breathtaking view of the Gardens. This room is truly stunning and beautiful.
This was The Queen’s Bedchamber. 19 Princes were born here. 2 Queens died here. Royal babies were delivered in public here to prove their blue-bloodedness (Can you imagine?). Right above this little girls head in the bottom right corner is a secret door. Can you see it? It led straight to Louis XIV’s rooms. Even though Louis XIV was a philandering husband (which was accepted in those days), he made sure to sleep with his Queen as often as possible (thoughtful guy).
This was Louis XIV’s room.
A close up of the outside and all the detailing. Those arched windows are in the Hall of Mirrors.
View of Versailles from the gardens.
Punks playing on the Royal Drive.
Looking down Royal Drive.
Another view of the front. The building on the right is the Royal Opera House.
What a fun, full day and SO MUCH WALKING!
But I’d do it all over again in a heartbeat! My take away from seeing this is that I cannot imagine such wealth and being an American, I cannot imagine that type of Monarchy. All were at the mercy of the King and had a god-like worship of him which is something I have a big problem with, but in their day, they knew no other way until the French Revolution. Truth is, there are good leaders and those who feel entitled to lead. It is my opinion that the latter should not lead. People will rebel and fight for their rights because freedom may just be the most powerful force on earth.