For some reason this has been sitting as a draft among my posts and has gone unpublished, so here it is…. finally!
27 June 2014
Yesterday was an incredibly exciting day. The previous time I had been to Paris I hadn’t been able to make it to the Chateau, and after briefly visiting it a couple of days ago I was even more excited to have a look inside.
We had purchased tickets online the day before, so didn’t have to line up to get inside. We had to go through a security checkpoint, where we had to put our bags through an x-ray machine and we had to walk through metal detectors. After no hiccups we were free to go inside!
The entrance led us out into the courtyard, behind the gold gates. The front of the Chateau is amazing. The gold details stand out beautifully against the dark blue. Once in the courtyard we walked across to the start of the tour. We decided to line up for audio guides, and were pleasantly surprised to find out they were free to hire.
The rest of the time we explored the chateau. With the information from the audio guides we were able to get detailed information about each of the rooms, such as what the room was called, what it was used for, and information about the artwork and interior design within the room, such as the reason for the particular artwork, and who painted it.
It was such a surreal experience. Everything was incredibly extravagant and beautifully detailed. The paintings were incredible, many depicting lively scenes of people, angels and gods.
The most lavish room of the all was definitely the Hall of Mirrors. I can still not get over that place. It left me in complete awe. Another highlight was the Queen’s Bedchambers, aka the room in which Marie Antoinette slept. The audio guide also pointed out to us the passageway in which Marie Antoinette escaped through, when the palace got attacked, which was a cool extra bit of information.
Catherine also showed us the Orange Tree Garden, one of the many gardens of the Chateau (the gardens in total are crazy huge. Like, I thought the Chateau was huge, but when you look at the model of the Chateau and its grounds, the palace is miniscule compared to the MASSIVE gardens). That garden was amazing and the symmetry of the gardens, just thinking about it makes me want to dance a happy jig.
Going to places like this and knowing that it is steeped in such a deep history and has been the site of incredibly significant events is a very strange thing to think about and walking through the palace and imaging people living out their lives in those huge and expansive rooms is honestly a very weird thing to think about.
While incredibly busy and sometimes even slightly suffocating at times, the trip to the Chateau des Versailles was definitely a memorable experience. It’s just such a beautiful place and it’s probably my favourite place in Paris at the moment to be honest.
Tomorrow it’s off to the Louvre!