7.01.2011

Versailles, France

Inside the palace, I was fascinated by the beautiful paintings and frescoes that depicted important events, people, history, myth, and majesty.

 The fleur de lis was found throughout Europe on gates, palace walls, and other ironwork. That is so FRENCH!



 Madi and Hannah are two happy tourists.
 We have secured our "whisperers" aka walkie-talkies so that our tour guide, Pascal, a Parisian can buzz in our ears for approximately an hour while we tour The Versailles Palace.




 Everyone should have gates gilded in gold. Don't you think?
 Good thing there wasn't a guard about when Madi found a seat on a mo-ped.
 The home fronts were full of charm and interest.














I wanted to soak up all the history and stories behind each painting, but of course, there was no time. Instead I snapped a plethora of photographs and hope to do my homework when I arrive back home.

Here lies the royal bed chamber for Louis XIV. The balustrades separated the King from the people who came to see him rise each morning at 7:30 a.m. I was appalled to find out that couriers and commoners were allowed to watch the king do every human thing possible besides when the King was alone with his wife. So open to public viewing included bathing, using the toilet, and on behalf of the Queen--giving birth. That is a lot to process, I know. Quite horrific really to consider!

You learn the darndest  things while traveling that is to be sure!


Here is the sixty-three year old king in high heels and his royal robes. He was five ten and as you can see quite a looker. His second wife--well--she had him wrapped around her finger and I swear the woman would not get a date in the 21st Century.  

Louis the XIV was rather fond of this painting done in 1701 that he had a duplicate of it made which now hangs in The Louvre just in case seeing it in one location is not enough for you. 
 The hall of mirrors separates the king's chambers from the queen's chambers. It is quite opulent and beautiful in a overstated kind of way. Now this separation may not have been such a good idea, because the queen entertained all sorts of lovers in her bed who streamed through the guardroom connected to the queen's apartments. 

 Here are the views from the Hall of Mirrors out to the gorgeous gardens.




 The queen's bedchamber.


Notice the embroidered peacock feathers behind the head board. 



This is a painting of a family in danger. Marie Antoinette commissioned a painting in 1787 of herself with her three children and the empty cradle of baby Sophie who had just died. 

She chose to wear no crown or jewellery to gain favor with the people who called her "the Austrian Woman" and thought her a spendthrift. 

Two years later, heads would roll in revolutionary square including her own via the guillotine during the French Revolution.

 The gardens at Versailles are nothing short of spectacular!

























The once marshes of Versailles are now sumptuous flowerbeds, lakes, and green groves.

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