Versailles was my second favorite place I visited in France.
The moment I stepped off the coach and started walking up the cobblestoned street, I was blinded by all the gold sparkling in the sunlight, I knew this place was special and unlike anything I’d ever seen.
When King Louis XIV set out to turn his dad’s hunting lodge into a palace that would be the envy of all of Europe, he wasn’t messing around.
The place just oozes opulence, from all the bronze outside, to the marble statues in the garden behind, and the palace itself. I’ve never seen something so ornate. If I thought the rest of France was beautiful and decorated, its got nothing on Versailles.
As part of the coach tour, we had a local tour guide who took us through the rooms of the palace, which was most helpful. There’s so much beauty everywhere, the eyes don’t know where to look first!
The inside was completely stunning! I’m not usually interested in rooms full of old furniture, but this place was different. The ceilings were covered in beautiful murals. I just wanted to walk around with my face turned up to look at the ceiling, but unfortunately, that makes not bumping into people difficult. And I found something so pretty and feminine about Marie Antoinette’s bedroom. I think I wrote a paper on Marie Antoinette in high school, although I can’t remember the details. See, this is why you save your old school work, people! Maybe that’s why I was so intrigued by her room.
My favorite room inside the palace was the Hall of Mirrors. I think the reason why I loved it so much was all the light. The hall is lined with huge, arched windows on one side, and the light from those windows is reflected by matching window shaped mirrors on the opposite wall. To add to the light and airy feeling, there are crystal chandeliers and candelabras sprinkled throughout the hall. And, of course, there are the required painted ceiling, marble statues, and gilded bronze accents all throughout the hall.
It’s mind blowing to think that I visited a place so full of history. The Hall of Mirrors is the same room where Marie Antoinette probably strutted down the hall, checking herself in the wall full of mirrors! And this is the very place where the treaty ending World War I was signed in 1919. I learned about the Treaty of Versailles in Grade 11 Modern History class, and I never once thought at that time that one day I would go to France and stand in that very room.
After touring through the rooms inside the palace, it was time to explore the grounds. I only had forty-five minutes in which to enjoy them, and I will tell you that is not nearly long enough! I could have roamed around those gardens for hours! They have all my favorite garden features, such as fountains, flowers, statues, and a body of water.
I’ve realized that there’s just something different about French gardens, and that’s the organization. Everything seems to be arranged just so. The plants are placed in perfect alignment to give a refined air of order and organization. It makes the place feel very elegant and sophisticated.
The pictures really don’t do this place justice. I’m so glad I had the opportunity to visit this historical landmark.