Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Versailles Palace | Paris Blog

Live Like the Royals in Versailles Palace

Posted by paris | paris | Monday 26 October 2009 11:50 am

One of the symbols in this world that is irrevocably connected with royalty and wealth is the fabulous Château de Versailles near Paris. Under its former inhabitants are Louis XIV (The Sun King), the marquis de Lafayette and Marie-Antoinette. Come explore this place where history lingers in every small corner.

Versailles Palace

Louis XIII acquired the place in the 17th century, and it became the home of the royal family. After the French Revolution, their furniture and art collection was confiscated and the palace turned into a museum. Over the next centuries the purpose of Versailles changed various times, nowadays it is a museum but still serves some political functions.

There are about 700 rooms and more then 2000 windows in the Palace of Versailles. That doesn’t include the enormous gardens, the Estate of Marie Antoinette, the Grand Canal and the Swiss lake. Altogether, you’ll need a full day to see it all. Most famous is the Hall of Mirrors, which was used every day by Louis XIV to walk from his bedroom to the chapel. It was here that the treaty was signed that ended World War I and the room is still used for official receptions and visits. Put on your sunglasses before entering in the Queen’s Chamber or the amount of shining gold will blind you. On the left of the bed, there is the hidden door (which is pretty hard to find thanks to all that excessive decoration) through which Marie Antoinette escaped after rioters invaded the palace.

The laying out of the gardens should have been an enormous work, since all this area used to be forest. Take a map before you go since it’s about 800 ha. Most enchanting are the groves, especially the Rocaille Grove. The water pours down in a cascade, over shells that came from the coasts of Africa. Under Louis XIV it was used as an open-air ballroom.
The Estate of Marie- Antoinette reveals her private life. Here, she lived how she wanted and visitors were only allowed upon invitation. Except for the majestic marble staircase, the interior is rather sober.

From 20th of October until 7th of February there is a special exhibition about Louis XIV, with the purpose of discovering the man behind the myth. We remember him as the Sun King, and this exhibition brings together works appreciated by the king (Paintings, jewellery, sculpture…) in an attempt to discover more about his personality. He was an enthusiastic lover of art and this temporary exhibition is the first in its kind.

Are you fascinated by the tragic life of Marie-Antoinette? Would you like to stroll through the impressive halls and rooms, the same ones where the royals used to walk? Visit Versailles on your trip to Trip to Paris, and where better to stay then in your own little palace? Book the best Apartments in Paris and enjoy a royal stay.

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