Who couldn’t love Paris, right?
Well it seems the King of France, Louis XIV (known as Louis the Great) didn’t like the capital so much. So he began moving the government in 1678 to his father’s, Louis XIII, hunting lodge about twenty kilometres southwest of the city. Suddenly the small village of Versailles became the political centre of the Kingdom of France.The simple hunting lodge was enlarged into a royal palace through several phases of expansion. Wings were added to the original building and renowned architects and designers each added their own flair to create the Château de Versailles (Palace of Versailles).The expansions continued right up until 1789, when the royal family were forced to return to Paris because of the French Revolution. That hasn’t stopped some modern additions though.
The interior was elaborately decorated. Each room had its own style and apparent colour theme.Chandeliers hung in every room and hallway and room and hallway and room and hallway…It was well presented throughout. No ugly display stands or velvet rope with hanging signs. The original furniture was set out in the rooms like they were only lived in yesterday.There were long art galleries that looked out across long gardens.There was even art under your foot and above your head, inside and outside!The Hall of Mirrors is a hall of mirrors and…well yeah.
Venture outside and you are met with immaculately manicured lawns, perfect trees and sprinkling lakes.Step a bit further back and you’ll meet this.And then that.It was ridiculous. Seriously.
A gorgeous autumn day, and what better way to spend it than to wander these grand gardens? There was so much to see that exploring without the map was the way to go.While the gardens and lawns are vast, there are equally small nooks and crannies hidden behind tall hedges. Many of the paths converged on circular colonnades and fountains.Tired legs can simply lounge by the many lakes. Just don’t venture too close to the water…It truly is worthy of a bucket list.
And for us, it was. (That makes 4 bucket lists items in a row! Score!)
The Palace of Versailles is famous not only as a building, but as a symbol of the absolute monarchy of the old Kingdom of France.Visited 14th October 2014.