I got up early, hopped on a bus, and the next thing I knew I was faced with the majestic architecture of the imposing palace. Now I'm not exaggerating here: everything about Versailles exudes wealth, some might say ostentation, but certainly skill as well as aesthetic understanding and mastery. Before your eyes even have time to observe the grandeur of the palace, they are stunned by this grand gate. I later found out that this was a very fitting entrance to the Palace that certainly had its fair share of gold-leaf embellished decor.
Another recurring theme is aptly demonstrated by this statue of Louis XIV, that greets you on your walk towards the palace; its size acts as an indication of what is waiting inside the gates with relation to excess and splendour...
After my initial observations, it was time to begin my wander through the house. I was impressed anew by each room and its decor, as well as the intricate detail on every surface.
The Hall of Mirrors is a pretty good example of this attention to detail.Strangely, what really captivated my heart was not the splendour of the rooms, nor even the dramatic chandeliers whose glass prisms played with the light, but the hallways with their marble checkerboard floors.
Having had a good look in the palace apartments, and learnt a little on the way,
it was time to move on to another area.
After a leisurely walk, I reached the Petit Trianon. This area was meant as a retreat for the King and his maîtresse en titre, a place to invite guests without the strict etiquette and formality of the court. Next time, and there will be a next time, I will make sure to see the Grand Trianon and Marie Antoinette's hamlet that are just around the corner from this building.
The Petit Trianon almost felt subtle in comparison with the grand palace. The architecture is beautiful and, of course, symmetrical. The wonderfully designed gardens were just a taster of what I was to see at the main gardens. After a little walk, I returned to the main palace where I began to explore.
The gardens are all perfectly manicured with a selection of colour schemes, a mixture of seemingly wild flowers, and of course the obligatory box hedge or two.
...And that was the end to my first taster of Versailles. There is so much to see that I can't imagine you would ever get bored of visiting. Next time I would love to hire out some bikes to make my way around the vast grounds. There is also a fireworks display alongside the fountains that I imagine would be magical.
Have you visited the palace? What did you see and what did you enjoy best?