Posts Tagged ‘versailles’

PostHeaderIcon Chateau de Versailles in Versailles

The Chateau de Versailles in Versailles (Place d’Armes 78000 Versailles, France) is one of the most magnificent of palaces, and one is very grateful that the sans culottes did not decide to raze it to the ground during the Terror. After all, the Bastille was the symbol of French aristocratic tyranny. So the Royal residence of the Bourbons had to be the symbol of aristocratic decadence. This magnificent palace was originally a hunting lodge, built in 1623, by Louis XIII. His son, the Sun King decided to turn it into palace far away from the heart of Paris, where he could house his court, his horses and his ladies. So this magnificent palace became his residence, instead of the Louvre, in 1682. Incidentally, the design of Versailles was copied by an Indian maharaja, to build his own palace in Kapurthala, Punjab, but it does not come near to the magnificence of the original palace.

You can visit it from Monday to Saturday, from 9 to 6, taking the Rive Gauche train to Versailles. Of course, it is going to take about a week of leisurely spent afternoons for you to go through all the galleries, and walk the 18,000 m² area of the Château. The French government still uses the Château for when both the houses of Parliament are in session, so you would not be able to visit some cordoned off areas. But remember to visit the Château’s Chapel, designed by de Cotte and Mansart in 1710. This Chapel is a relatively new addition.

You can also walk through the garden, but with its statues, fountains, and sculptures, one can only call it a realm of fantastic masterpieces instead of the garden.

Marie- Antoinette, the tragic queen of France loved to spend many an afternoon pretending to be a shepherdess in the Petit Trianon, her little farm. It was built for her in 1774 with the Hameau designed for her in 1785, a couple of years before the French Revolution and her execution.

The major attractions in the Château that you need to see is the Hall of Mirrors. This room went down in history as the place where the first World War was officially declared closed with the signing of the Treaty of Versailles.
This Château was formally declared a historical museum by King Louis-Philippe, in 1837, to depict the glory and the splendor that was France. So enjoy the collection of statues, sculptures, carpets, staircases, painted ceilings, frescoes, and other awe inspiring works of art.

The nearest airports are of course Paris’Charles de Gaulle and Orly airports. You can also visit the Château of Versailles by road taking the road to Rouen and following the sign which says Versailles-Chateau!