Enjoying an Italian Dinner in Genoa, 2016

Enjoying an Italian Dinner in Genoa, 2016

Sunday, April 9, 2017

A Day at Versailles - Saturday

Good Morning!  Dave and Dee Ann spent yesterday finding and touring Versailles--all by themselves!!!  Yea, Reeds!  They left the apartment early in the morning, with maps under their arms and Jerry's advice ringing in their ears and braved the Metro and train to make the 19 mile trip out to the Chateau.
King Louis private bedroom is the 3 large windows just below the clock.  Of course, facing the rising Sun!

Versailles was built by Louis XIV (14) in 1668 when he took his original hunting lodge and expanded it to the Chateau it is today. The most sumptuous palace in Europe it set the standard for culture and court life right up to modern times.   There are 3 main parts:  The palace itself which features lavish living rooms for the French nobility.  The Gardens are a landscaped wonderland of statues and fountains. And the Trianon Palaces of Marie-Antoinette which gave her a little "get-away" from the big palace.

These are Dee's pictures, so I hope I get some of the things right, but even if I don't you will get the idea of what this place is like.

Every square inch is decorated

The Royal Chapel  Louis sat facing the altar, the nobles knelt facing him
with their backs to the altar!  

Louis XIV as emperor

Even the ceilings are beautiful

The hall of mirrors
The Hall of Mirrors:  No one had ever seen anything like this when it was first opened.  Mirrors were a great luxury at the time, and the size of these 17 arched mirrors (directly across from the matching 17 arched windows) was astounding.  The hall is nearly 250 feet long and 24 gilded candelabra.  At the end of the room was Louie's canopied throne.

The queen's bedchamber.  This is where 19 princes were born.  Royal babies were delivered in public to prove their blue-bloodedness.  Louis XIV was not the most faithful husband and during his reign adultery became acceptable.

More pictures from inside the palace.

The Gardens:  Louie was a divine right ruler.  One way he proved it was by controlling nature like a god.  These lavish grounds --elaborately planned, pruned, and decorated--showed that Louie was in charge.  Unfortunately, this is a little early for the gardens splendor, but you get the idea.

The Trianon Palace and Domaine de Marie Antoinette.  Versailles began as an escape from the pressures of being king, but in a short time the Chateau had become as stressful as Paris.  So Louis XIV and his successors needed an escape from their escape.  They built this fantasy world of palaces and gardens to escaped from everyday life.  The Grand Trianon was built for a mistress of Louis and he spent a few nights a week here. The flowers were changed daily for the king's pleasure.

Bath tub 


Marie-Antionette longed for the simple life of a peasant--not the hard work of peasants --just the fairytale peasant in her imagination.  She built The Hamlet, which was an actual working farm with a dairy, a water mill a pigeon coop and a menagerie where her servants kept cows, goats and chickens.  The Queen's House -- was like any typical peasant farmhouse, but it had a billiard room, library, a dining hall and two living rooms.  

It took Dave and Dee all day to get to Versailles and back, but they had a great time.  

Meanwhile, Jerry and I took bus 82 over to Donald's apartment neighborhood and had lunch, wandered, had a wine on the corner of the apartment and bought some chocolates from the little chocolate shop around the corner.  It was a fun day.  Off today for the d'Orsay musee, Rodin museum, and ?????
The Paris marathon is being run today so we don't know if we can get to some places because of the crowds.

Au Revoir, mes amies!