Friday, June 5, 2009

Versailles

Today we only accomplished one thing... but oh what a thing it was!

We took two metro subway trains, then a French National Train out to the Versailles Palace.
I now really understand *why* there was a French Revolution... This place was way too much! What a HUGE waste of the French national resources. This 'palace' held more than 20,000 people. The King and Queen of course, but also an entire 'court' of french nobility, courtiers, administrators, cooks, cleaners, seamstresses, etc. All supported just to give the King a nice place to hold court. (one of many palaces actually)

A lot of history was here. From Ben Franklin's introduction to the court as the ambassador from the new United States, to where they mob's carried away and beheaded Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette, to where the Treaty ending World War I was signed. All happened here.


The palace is huge, monster-sized courtyards coming up to the building, and then huge long wings. This was the largest palace EVER!
- yep Ever!

On top of the palace, the surrounding gardens are even more immense! The maps and drawings of the gardens make it look like it is all gardens with low plants. And some of them are, but a vast majority is just huge tracks of land with planted trees. Groups of the same tree lined up in long rows. With roads and paths in between. In the center is a large man-made lake called the Grand Canal is over a mile long - in two directions. It's shaped like a large cross.


Even from this monstrosity of a palace the King wanted to 'get away' from the hectic life of court, and so built other smaller palaces, one for himself and his mistresses, and another for the Marie Antoinette.


The 'over-the-top' ostentatious and overly decorated rooms were way too much for me. Each room had a 'theme' as well as custom works of art, custom wall coverings, custom flooring, and everything was way expensive. Artwork and statues were everywhere! On top of roofs, scattered around the gardens, down walkways, in gardens, ponds, and fountains.


We walked around a lot of the palace and gardens, including the Trianon's - but then Jill, Ryan and Alysha followed Ryan's lead and walked around the ENTIRE GRAND CANAL!

I got in 18,500 steps today, they must have been up around 23,000.
So here come the pictures:

Still a little tired as we start on our journey 'My Girls' getting ready for a day of sightseeing Karrissa, you and your two kids are also 'My Girls' Alysha getting silly on the train Yes, we arrived at the palace! Ryan playing 'tourist' listening to the Audio Recording about Versailles
The 'Chapel' a private little chapel - King and his family upstairs, everyone else downstairs Sample room - one of many stately rooms fully decorated Statues and artwork were everywhere Sample painting of a single ceiling... all the ceilings were like this! Hall of Mirrors - a football field sized room for state functions with 17 facing windows facing the garden Ryan being 'artistic' with the camera in the Hall of Mirrors View from Hall of Mirrors across garden area - end of water over a mile away One of the 'side gardens' not even the main garden In the Hall of Princes - Ryan and Alysha had fun with the camera And I thought she was smiling for the photo So did Jill Didn't even know she was behind me I thought all the gardens were like this one Alysha, just happy to be there The 'Orangery' garden for growing oranges Yep - were are all at Versailles! Looking over the main garden area Kids having fun
Jill and Alysha walking on paths between trees
View from the center 'cross' part of the Grand Canal back to Palace Ryan, Alysha and Jill made it to the end of the Grand Canal It looks much closer with the big zoom lens on my Nikon Resting after a long day in Versailles Kids zonked on the train ride home

2 comments:

Karrissa Winward said...

Wow, that is gorgeous! Tell Alysha she looked pretty, no wonder why the French boys couldn't keep their eyes of her. I love the pictures with Alysha making the funny face, that is hilarious!

Gramps said...

Sounds like another wonderful day of education and learning. That is quite the place and all that walking. Glad you are able to enjoy this opportunity.