Thursday, August 21, 2014


Wednesday I spent a full day at the palace of Versailles. The palace was gorgeous, full of lavish ornamentation in every room fit for the kings and queens that lived there. Versailles is just as known for its expansive gardens outside as it is for the decor inside and I spent hours wandering through the trees and fountains all the way to the farmland past Marie Antoinette's estate.

Statue of Louis XIV who was the founder of Versailles. 
The gold entrance gates.

 The palace was so busy, even though I came early in the morning on a Wednesday, that it was difficult to squeeze in and see everything inside. I swear I have bruises from all the elbows and backpacks...
The chapel organ.

Every corner of the palace is smothered in gold gilding and impressively large paintings. The amount of money it would have taken to create, then and now, is astonishing.

Every room had a different decoration scheme. This one's wallpaper was a bold black and green.

 The famous hall of mirrors, constructed in 1678 under Louis XIV. The hall is lined with 17 arched mirrors across from the 17 arched windows overlooking the gardens. The paintings, dripping chandeliers and gold statues make this hall just jaw dropping.

Off from the hall is Louis XIV's bed chamber. Bedrooms in palaces like this were public places where visitors were welcomed.

 The Queen's bedroom, so elaborate!

The War Salon, commemorating centuries of French battles.

The luxurious Mesdames Apartments in the palace were occupied by Louis XV's six daughters from 1752 and two of them stayed until the revolution.

 The floral wallpaper and decorations were for summer and a different set of decorations were applied in the winter.
Then it was outside, away from the crowds and into the fresh air for a picnic and exploring the grounds.

 The fountain of Apollo
 The green carpet lawn from the palace to the grand canal.

The Grand Trianon was built for Louis XIV as an escape from his court with his mistress Madame de Montespan. The pink and orange marble definitely sets it apart from the rest of the palace.

 The Petit Trianon was most famously the retreat home of Marie-Antointette. It is the beginning of her domain, fields and farm along the grounds.

 The Temple of Love
This was my favorite part of the tour. If this trip abroad has taught me anything it is that I am 100% a country girl. I will trade the chaos of cities for green grass and wide open spaces any day. 
Marie-Antoinette commissioned the Queen's Hamlet in 1783 as her retreat away from the court with her  lady's companions. The farm soon became viable and supplied the palace kitchens. 

Who knew Versailles held so much? An insanely elaborate palace and a quaint rustic farm all on the same grounds with expansive gardens in between. Definitely a great visit. :)

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