Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Versailles and it's little Palace

The Versailles Palace sits about 12 miles outside of Paris and can be reached by quick train ride.  Versailles is a symbol of the excesses of the French monarchy under Louis XIV "The Sun King".  Estimates very for the cost to build but they range from $2 billion - $300 billion in today's dollars.  It also estimated that it took almost a quarter of the government income to maintain the palace during its heyday.

The palace is capable of holding up to 20,000 people, has 700 rooms, and 67 staircases.  They estimate 3,000 people lived there at any one time, all either wanting time with the king or working for him.

The golden gate is a replica as it was torn down during the French Revolution, however the replica is covered in 100,000 gold leaves with a cost of $8 million.


The view through the gate.

The wait was long to get inside, it took about 1 - 1 1/2 hours to get in.  The line snaked in the courtyard back and forth with each length about 100 meters.  All the people below are in the same line.

When we first got inside we got a view of the chapel.  This is the chapel on the first floor.

This is a view of the chapel from the second floor where Louis the XIV would worship while those on the first floor worshipped him.

Nearly all of the rooms had ornate ceilings.  Some of the designs were painted in and some were raised sculpture.

This wall had the real marble columns blend in with the painted marble columns to give a sense of openness.

This is one of the walls which were hollow with an entrance (as pictured below).  The servants would wait in them until a guest needed something in order to stay out of site.

All of the furniture was fit for a museum.

The beginning of the hall of mirrors, which contains 357 mirrors which were one of the most expensive things to possess at the time.  The hall of mirrors is where the Treaty of Versailles was signed ending WWI.

A view down the hall of mirrors.

The daughter enjoying the history of the hall of mirrors.

The mirros are symmetrical to the arched windows across the room and are designed to reflect the gardens.

Everything was really over the top.

The kings bed, where visitors would come watch him wake up and go to bed.

The queens bed where the birth of the chidren were a public event.

A view from the palace of the first section of the gardens.

One of the many fountains in the gardens.


A view from the gardens of the palace.

We leave you with a monkey riding a horse. Which was as fun then as it is now.

For more information on the palace you can go here.

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