Admittedly, I had no idea what Versailles was before my sister went there last summer. Even then, I knew it was a palace, I knew Marie Antoinette lived there, but I had no idea it was THE palace that most royals were striving to copy and be like for centuries and centuries. We had heard from everyone who had ever been to France that it was a must-do, to go early, and to plan an entire day around it. Because of this I’m going to break Versailles up into a couple posts, there’s just no way I can do it justice in only one!
We got up early, we enjoyed our first breakfast with chocolate croissants in it, and we headed to the metro, train station, and then to Versailles. We were told to follow the crowd in, but due to having to use the bathroom at the McDonald’s outside the train station, we left a few minutes post crowd.
We walked down the main street looking all over for it, and I was in such a rush I started crossing the street with it blatantly on my left when Jacob pointed out the street name was Ave. de Paris. I told him that could be a clue, when we both looked up to see one of the largest palaces in the world. Jacob joked instantly, “Yeah, that’s PROBably a clue!”
You have to get in line to get tickets pretty fast, this place boasts of serious traffic daily!
We didn’t mind much, we enjoyed the view of the Palace, and the visionary creator King Louis XIV himself!
Going through the palace was an experience I can’t quite describe. Louis built this place to get away from Paris life, and to show everyone else in the world that he was better than they were with far more extravagances. This was no joke, there wasn’t an inch of this place that wasn’t completely ornate, showing wealth and power.
This was the personal church, where Louis could sit and be praised along with the worship of God.
And I think extravagant is a word that’s a total hyperbole here, this was nothing short of straight up ridiculous! They spent half of France’s GNP to build phase 1 the first year, that’s just straight up crazy!
I will say this, for all the French revolutionary literature I’ve read, I never quite grasped why the people were so furious at their royalty. Yes, starvation makes people a little crazy, but I didn’t get the rage until Versailles. Marie Antoinette was building her own playhouse when she became queen, just for fun! She was dying sheep pink, and they were living in luxury no one can comprehend while ignoring the needs of their people. I’m not sure the pictures can even begin to tell the story, but I’m going to try to show as much as I can in this post!
This is a layout of the palace, this does not include the “get away” palaces built or the gardens- just the main attraction.
I’ll admit, the literal hundreds of self portraits of Louis XIV made me feel way less vain taking pictures each week for a blog. Boy, the amount of this guy’s face in the palace is truly remarkable!
We couldn’t get over the details- the amazing intricacies in stone statues, the inlays in the floors, the woven tapestries, the paintings on walls and ceilings- all done by hand in a historic period where these took some serious time to accomplish.
Seeing where they slept, how they lived daily, and what they wore was an amazing piece of history we were so grateful to experience.
The room of mirrors where parties were held and other royal families were invited to parties was the most beautiful and overwhelming rooms in the history of ever.
But the bedrooms weren’t far behind.
And the paintings- oh the paintings. I just couldn’t get over how old these were, what pieces of French history I was beholding in real life, and how much I learned about pride and corruption.
Were were told plan a full day here- and guess what, we’d say do two if you can! The palace was just our morning visit, stay tuned for lunch, the gardens, and a very magical evening in France.