Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Visiting Versailles

After several hours of searching, scouring, and praying that we would find the wonder that is Versailles, we finally arrived at the golden gates. Amazed that this massive palace was before my very eyes, I fired up the video camera and ordered my sister to start taking pictures. Realizing that I officially looked like “a tourist,” I honestly could have cared less…I was thrilled to be entering a place where so much history took place.

Realizing we only had about an hour before the museum closed, my sister and I agreed, although it was an unfortunate agreement, that we would have to become the Griswold’s in “National Lampoon’s European Vacation” if we wanted to see as much as we could inside. Once we finally discovered where the freaking entrance into the museum was, I made a mad dash towards the Hall of Mirrors. I remember literally stopping in my tracks and standing there in complete awe of the sight before me.

Inside the Palace

Entering Hall of Mirrors

The brainchild of King Louis XIV of France, the Hall of Mirrors is considered to be one of the most popular rooms in the world. Filled with gold statues and glass mirrors and chandeliers, Louis XV met his mistress, Marie Antoinette here during one of his many grand parties. As interested as I am in pre-20th century world history, my reason for shock and awe was due to the knowledge that the Treaty of Versailles was signed in that very room, the treaty that ended World War I and started the League of Nations. I simply couldn’t believe how beautiful this room was and how much took place within its confines.

Quickly (almost running) through much of the rest of the museum and passing many of the paintings devoted to the King himself, we made it to the gardens. It looked as if the land went on for an eternity. The Versailles Gardens are quite a sight to see. Let me put it this way, I would HATE to be the gardener and maintenance crew…your job would never end.

The sculptures, the fountains, the manicured lawns, all of it drew me in as I pictured hundreds of guests walking around, men and women wearing proper 17th and 18th century European attire (depending on who was ruling and when of course), and admiring the splendors that Versailles presents to those who enter its gates. To call this place a garden is in my opinion, one of the biggest understatements. The “Gardens” are works of art, created by various men who showcased their work beautifully. Never have I seen such art displayed in such an enormous and thought out way. My only wish was that I could have seen more.


mice_aliling said...

It definitely looks wonderful. I have never been to France, but it's definitely on my list of places to see :)

Anonymous said...

Wow. I am absolutely speechless.Do you think its possible to do it all in one day? Are you allowed to browse at your leisure, or do they kick you out after a time limit?

And i LOVE visiting places that hold so much historical significance.

Nicole said...

I honestly don't know if you could do it in one day. I'd say yes, but you'd be moving fast LOL I hate that we didn't get much time there but what I did was just amazing.

iuli said...

I love versailles ... great place! I have been there three times and still feel like I haven't seen everything! I love getting lost in the gardens! Next time, make sure to check out the Grand Trianon and Marie-Antoinette's Estate - those are less touristy and very beautiful. Versailles in miniature!

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