Friday, August 31, 2012

Paris Day Four: Versailles

I'm so busy ROCKIN' 50 that I haven't even looked at my birthday photos yet. I'll get to that sometime this weekend. Maybe. Probably not. In the meantime, I'm back to blogging about Paris. I've only got three posts left (including this one), so I figured I'd finish up before moving on to regular life. And just FYI, 50 +1 day is even better than 50 :)

Our fourth day in Paris was devoted to Versailles. "Visitors passing through the rich interior of this colossal palace, or strolling in the vast gardens, will understand why it was the glory of the Sun King's reign. Starting in 1668 with his father's modest hunting lodge, Louis XIV built the largest palace in Europe, housing 20,000 people at a time... The current palace grew as a series of envelopes enfolding the original hunting lodge..." (DK Eyewitness Travel: Paris pages 248 and 250.)

I have a lot of photos of Versailles, but not a lot of specific details to share with you. So enjoy just scrolling through most of these. Versailles really is quite beautiful. My mom is going to love these photos! She has a stunning French living room. Enjoy, Mama!
That was just the exterior. Seriously, have you ever seen so much gold? Now for some glimpses of the interior. A lot of these are photos of ceilings. I have never had a ceiling this pretty. Except for the occasional spider web, my ceilings are plain white and boring. I wonder if I could get Rick to add any of this to our bedroom. NOT!
These, obviously, are not ceilings.
"The climax is the Hall of Mirrors, where 17 great mirrors face tall arched windows... Great state occasions were held in this multimirrored room stretching 233 feet (70 m) along the west facade. The Treaty of Versailles was ratified here in 1919, ending World War I." (DK Eyewitness Travel: Paris pages 252-253.)
 Check out this exhibit: shoes made from pots and lids! Yeah, I'm betting that they're really uncomfortable. 
 This is the king's bedroom in the main apartments.
This is the Queen's bedroom. "In this room, the queens of France gave birth to the royal children in full public view." (DK Eyewitness Travel: Paris page 253.) Seriously, the queens were required to give birth in front of multiple public witnesses to assure that the children being presented as heirs were, in fact, legitimate. Makes my own delivery rooms seem quite cozy and private.
Speaking of kings and queens and their bedrooms, here's some scoop on Marie-Antoinette and her not-so-nice hubby, King Louis XVI: "On October 6, 1789, a Parisian mob invaded the palace seeking the despised Marie-Antoinette. The queen, roused in alarm from her bed, fled toward the king's rooms through the anteroom known as the Oeil-de-Boeuf. As the mob tried to break into the room, the queen beat on the door of the king's bedroom. Once admitted she was safe, at least until morning, when she and the king were removed to Paris by the cheering and triumphant mob." (DK Eyewitness Travel: Paris page 253.) Are you curious about why they were so despised? Click here for more info. 

This was my favorite room, the Battles Gallery. It boasts paintings depicting the major battles from the French Revolution.
The gardens were unbelievable!
Check out this sky. We expected to be drenched, but never were.
This is Emma's favorite photo from Versailles because of the swan, of course.
I really like this photo.
This one, too. My boys are such good uncles. :)
This is the Grand Trianon on the grounds of Versaille. "Louis XIV built this small palace of stone and pink marble in 1687 to escape the rigors of court life, and to enjoy the company of his mistress..." (DK Eyewitness Travel: Paris page 249.) 
That's it for Versailles. The Louvre is next. All I can say about it is WOW, what a museum!

Back to celebrating~yup, I'm going to celebrate all weekend to show 50 who's in charge!