Tuesday, August 29, 2017


The afternoon of our coach bus tour after the morning in Giverny was going to Versailles, the weekend estate of King Louis XIV. 

Once a 'simple' hunting lodge, he expanded it into what is now known as the Chateau with additional wings/ apartments creating the U shape. Of course, he did spend half of France's  GNP for one year but it certainly did impress all those who saw it.  His two successors gilded it  In fact, in honor of France's special anniversary the palace had just been re-gilded.

This courtyard used to be filled with 5000 nobles and their entourages.

If a little gold is good, a lot of gold is better , right? That gold really pops with those ominous skies. BUT can we say, the money could be used elsewhere? 

The Chateau's interior is filled with exquisite frescoes, murals, humongous paintings, portraits and extravagant chandeliers besides all the decorative finishes. No expense was spared.

The Hall of Mirrors
Louis XIV also expanded the grounds and immaculate gardens with statuary and presided over their care during his reign. Many a party was held on these grounds.

There's a lot of pruning and deadheading work for the gardeners.

Beyond the ponds is a manmade lake for boating. Those are really visitors boating on the Palace grounds.

Louis XIV is remembered as a renaissance man (just a 100 years later) with his good looks, musical ability, being a patron of the arts, horseman, statesman and amante. He was considered Europe's greatest king for 70 years but not exactly humble as he would say "L'etat c'est moi." "The state, that's me." 

The raindrops waited for us to finish our visit and we made it back on the bus dry. The bus tour was the way to go as we gained immediate access whereas the lines were really long even midday. We were on our own and could use the allotted time as we wished. Our little wand recorders had just enough information to understand what we were viewing. It was royal to say the least...

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