When I was growing up, my Grandpa used to tell me about all the amazing places he got to visit when he was stationed overseas in WWII. He would tell me about his time in Paris and getting to see beautiful art and architecture. Whenever I was in high school, my love for historical architecture and art really came into bloom. I took an amazing Humanities course, then followed with an Art History course in college and I was in love. The Palace of Versailles was a common subject because of historical and architectural significance. When we decided to visit Paris, Versailles was an absolute must! Just a short drive outside Paris will get you to one of the most beautiful homes in all of history.
Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette called this place home in the 18th century. The Petit Trianon was built specifically for Marie Antoinette as a place she could call her own. The opulence and lavishness of Versailles is undeniable. Let’s get lost in history for awhile shall we?
When arriving at Versailles you are confronted with the largest and most incredible golden gates. The original gates were torn down by commoners during the French Revolution; however, in 2008 artisans rebuilt a replica of the original gates. The current gates are covered in 100,000 gold leaves! It is truly a sight to behold.
Once inside the gates you enter the marble court in front of the chateau.
You could stand outside just taking in the beauty of the building for hours! There are busts of notable Roman figures and emperors around the top of the building.
You can enter into the chateau many different ways. We entered through the marble hall behind the marble courtyard.
As you walk around you are lead into several rooms that were lived in by princes, princesses, kings, and queens alike. You could view their sitting areas and actual bedrooms! Each one was decorated in the style of their choosing. Each room was beautifully unique and extravagant. The palace itself has 700 rooms!
One of the most famous rooms in the chateau is the Hall of Mirrors! One side of the room is ceiling high windows and the other side is full of arches that have 21 mirrors per arch. The room has a total of 357 mirrors.
There are breathtaking chandeliers hanging from the hand-painted ceilings. The room just screams opulence. It’s not hard to imagine the incredible courts and parties that were held there. The room itself seems to transport you back in time.
While you walk through the chateau there are incredible pieces of the homes’ history!
For example, the photograph above is the key used to open the main door of the chapel. The key is about the size of my arm!
Next, is probably my second favorite room in the chateau, the chapel. It’s a two-story chapel with vaulted ceilings, impeccable stained glass windows, and hand carved marble.
The gardens of Versailles are supposed to be the most incredible in the world. Unfortunately, we arrived in February and a good majority of the gardens were dead.
It was still lovely to walk around and get lost in the maze. I would love to return one day when it is in full bloom because even when not in bloom the gardens were still impressive.
Well my friends, I hope you have enjoyed seeing some of the beauty of France. If you are ever near Paris (or France in general) you must visit Versailles. It truly is the most opulent and beautiful historical places I have ever been.