Versaille -I-


Alors, I am a little (read: a lot!) hesitant to begin to blog about my trip to Versailles. Why? Well, I took 200 photos. So, depending on how much time you have in your day, you may want to skip this post. I will try to just hit the highlights of the visit but, hello, it's Versailles... the whole place is a highlight.

For starters, I went with these 5 foxes:
Elizabeth, Sasha, Alyssa, Sarah & Mimi
We met up on Thursday morning at metro stop "Les Invalides" to take the RER out to Versailles. Mimi and Sarah had already visited the palace so they scampered off to the gardens for a few hours while Sasha, Elizabeth, Alyssa and I toured the palace... along with the rest of Europe (and Asia). Who knew it would be crowded on a Thursday? I would hate to see what it looks like on the weekends.
Now, I know you're all laughing but you really just have to understand one thing-- the French don't DO coffee to go (unless it's out of a machine and... we didn't see any around...).
So:
After darling Sarah and I got our coffees & muffins
(ahem, muffin TOP!)
we were ready to go!

The French call Versailles "Chateau de Versaille" which is literally translated to English in three ways 1) chateau 2) palace and 3) mansion. But let's be honest, people, this place is a PALACE.

First look:
For future visitors who are perhaps studying abroad for a semester or year, be sure to bring a photo copy of your passport + a photocopy of whatever page in your passport that you have your visa stamp on. This way, you can enter for free. There are multiple other ways to enter for free but guess what? We didn't get in for free because we didn't meet those requirements and we didn't know to bring photocopies of our passports. Wish I had had someone else's blog to read to know all of these good tips..!

I want so badly to relay all of the history that I learned but I also know that I would basically have to write a novel. So! I'll just try to throw in tidbits with most of my photos...
The Chapel:
The kings were all about making their places of worship the most ornate and elaborate place in the palace, as a way to praise God for making them ruler (ruling by divine right). For this reason, the chapel ceilings are higher than any other in the palace.

Painting of Versailles (but not all of it):
Many, many consecutive rooms displayed large portraits of the royal family.
I took pictures of the people that looked the fanciest, clearly...
There were tons of statues like these two on this long hallway. Since I had no connection to any of them, I chose the ones whose names I liked best & who had the snazziest clothes for my photos:
I tend to take pictures of things that other people might not care about... details.
Corners, in particular, interest me. Corners of frames, corners of ceilings, corners of chairs -- they usually don the most interesting heads, etc.
lion head:
^ I mean what is this little guy doing?
Whoever saw a cherub angel whip out a weapon?
Check out the cherub-sized helmet he's got there to his left.
Double win.

Scenes over doors are also of interest.
Kings in Versailles were all about their battle scenes:
This is Louis XIV:
Artists of the period fashioned the king to look like a Greek warrior.
(Do you really think Louis XIV had a six pack? Just sayin'.)

Of course, Versailles wasn't all war and guts. The light fixtures, ceiling tiles, ceiling molding, colors, fabrics and other wall decor were absolutely dashing!
If only I could embroider this well (or.. at all):
Ms. Susan, be on the look out for some fabric like this for my ATL apartment:

Next, the Hall of Mirrors:
Le Galerie des Glaces
The Hall of Mirrors served many functions. Balls and private parties alike were held here. In addition, this was the stretch of palace that Louis XIV walked through daily on the way to the chapel. During this time courtiers and royal family members would line up to watch him proceed from his chamber. While he walked (strutted) down the hall, people could/would approach him with a request (to come to a party, to ask for a favor, etc.) According to the audio-guide I listened to throughout the tour, the manner in which you presented your request was extremely important in terms of etiquette.
Here's my best shot at that:
first: "Please, sir!"
then: "take my request, sir":
Sweet Elizabeth:
Other awesome Versailles details that I enjoyed:
in the Dauphin's apartment...
This couch screams "Elly Poston!"
Marie Antoinette's bedroom:
Sasha & Alyssa listening to their audio guides:
The queen's whole court and all the family royalty watched her every move from the moment she woke up. Literally, when the bed's canopy opened, at least a dozen people were waiting for her to climb out of bed! She wasn't even allowed to take her own clothes off to change into her first outfit.
A crowd also joined around to watch her give birth. Yikes.
I can't include everything from the trip in here tonight.
MORE TO COME:
Galerie des Batailles
Jardins
Marie Antoinette's Quarters and Trianon

Marie Antoinette movie night with the girls, chez moi.

Posted on September 17, 2010 and filed under "Louis XIV", "Louis XVI", "Marie Antoinette", "Versailles".