Geo: 48.8023, 2.12982
We were up early today in hopes of beating the line-ups to get into the Palace of Versailles. We did well as we were in the doors in less than an hour. It was very busy as we arrived with the first crowds of the day, which are mainly tour buses!
Versailles is considered the grandest and most beautiful chateau in France. It served as the kingdom's political capital and the seat of the royal court for more than a century. The first of the buildings began in 1664 when King Louis XVl turned his father's hunting lodge into a palace large enough to house his entire court. Sparing no expense, the greatest artists and craftspeople of the day created his beautiful palace. Over the centuries it has expanded with its different rulers.
We started our visit in the State Apartments which were lovely to see. Then we visited the Hall of Mirrors which, in its days, I am sure was magnificent to see. We decided we deserved a coffee after wandering through the palace before finishing our visit at the Battle Gallery.
On completion of our tour of the palace we headed out into the vast gardens, which
were laid out between 1661 and 1700 in the formal french style. There were lots of geometrically aligned terraces, flowerbeds, tree-lined paths, ponds, and fountains. There are also over 400 statues adorning the lovely gardens. As we walked through the gardens we saw the new Grand Canal waterfall that only opened this year. By the time we reached the Grand Canal the temperature had reached 37c, so we stopped at a little cafe for lunch. The garden areas are laid out well and there are lots of shade trees. From the Grand Canal we headed to the Grand Trianon which is a beautiful red marble building built in 1687 for King Louis XVl and his family. Just past the Grand Trianon is the Petit Trianon which was built in 1760, and occupied by King Louis XV's mistresses. It was later given as a gift to Queen Marie-Antoinette by her husband King Louis XVl.
The last area we visited was the Queens Hamlet which was a mock village of thatched cottages, a pond, vegetable gardens and a mill. It was constructed between 1775 and 1784 for the amusement of Marie-Antoinette.
We then had a 45 minute hike back to the main
gates of the palace before we could leave the grounds. It was extremely hot and we were all exhausted by the time we reached our car. Once home we had a short nap before heading out for dinner. We once again when into Marly-le-Roi to try out a restaurant. We enjoyed a delicious meal at a Caribbean style restaurant.
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