Saturday, June 25, 2011

Paris: Versaille

After a week of clouds and rain, we jumped at the opportunity to go to Versailles on a sunny day. Versailles is just outside of Paris and was home to the royal family and the French court when Louis XIV moved there, leaving the Louvre to become an empire for art. The estate is enormous, so we spent the day, walking around and having a gander at its magnificence.

This post is going to be more of a picture post with short captions. It's cooler looking at Versailles than reading what I have to say about it. I suggest clicking on them to get a better look. Here are the steps to the palace. Thought the pigeons were a nice touch.

New King Louis XVI. Louis XVI was the last to live in Versailles and was forced out by the people of France at the beginning of the French Revolution.

A Portrait of Marie Antoinette With Her Children. As you may recall, she was the wife of Louis XVI and was beheaded during the French Revolution. The French loved that guillotine!

"The 2 Year Doors." I named it that because the guard in the room told us that one side of one door took 6 months to make (you know, with all that gold). So, with four sides to make these doors, it took 2 years. There were 8 pairs of doors in the room.

Cherubs on Doors. These were on the doors to the cathedral and were even more impressive than the 2 year doors.

On to some rooms..
The Study. This charming room was Louis XVI's study and was decorated by Marie Antoinette. The colors are a lot less dark and bold than the others. The colored moldings have 80 layers of paint, with gold mixed in, to create a shimmering lacquered effect like Japanese furniture.

Room of Science. This is where scientists would meet and discuss new discoveries. It was the romantic age of science.

Magnificent Corner. Enough said, although I will mention that the blue with gold fleur de lis is the symbol of the royal family.

Insanely Awesome Chandelier. The rooms just got more and more dramatically over-the-top.

Entertainment Room aka Elastic Collision Room. This used to be a billiard room, although there was no pool table in it anymore. I liked the color palate of this room the best.

King Sized Bed. Yup, this is where Louis XIV dreamed about....who knows what a man that has, and can have, everything dreams about.

Room of Pain. I'm not sure if this is where the queen slept, but this is definitely where she gave birth. The brilliant green chairs were commissioned by and designed for Marie Antoinette specially for her births. Weird.

Queen Sized Bed. This is Marie Antoinette's bed, not at the palace, but in her summer home, still on the property, called Petit Trianon. Louis XVI built it for her, I guess so she could get some fresh air.

Casey in Interior Design Magazine. Learn how to make your summer home look like a royal palace with these 10 easy steps!

Ok, brace yourself.
Hall of Mirrors. This hallway was unbelievable, over the top, and in a need of a adjective pair greater than majestically magnificent. So many crystal chandeliers, so many mirrors, so much gold, so many statues, so many paintings, so many people!

So Good It Needed Another. Here's a more intimate view. By the way, the insanity of this room was the intent. Louis XIV wanted a room with no rivals.

Now for some fresh air.
The French Know Their Gardens. The palace is extremely large, but it's only a fraction of the estate, which was perfectly landscaped and kept.

Adorable Little Farm. This was a darling farm, that is still in use where they keep goats, sheep and poultry.

Sun King Fountain. King Louis XIV, who basically built this place, was known as the Sun King and admired Apollo, the God of Sun.


lex said...

JON! I hope you and Casey are enjoying your last week in France. Your travels and adventures looked pretty darned awesome. Can't wait to see both of you and hear more stories in HI!

celia said...

Terrific panoramic shot, it really show the enormous size of Versailles. I like your commentaries - also I can see how difficult it is to describe its magnificence. So glad you also know your history.