0 In Destinations/ France

The Palace of Versailles

A trip to Paris just wouldn’t be complete without a day spent exploring
the magnificent Palace of Versailles. Despite the fact Lauren and I had
both wandered the Palace and its gardens some 12 years ago during our
first trip to France, it was one experience we were desperate to repeat.
Set amid magnificently manicured and landscaped gardens, the enormous
and opulent Palace was built in the 17th Century and is still France’s
most visited landmark. So on our fourth and final full day in Paris, we
hopped on the RER Versailles-Chateau-Rive Gauche metro to travel some 20
kilometers southwest of Paris and set off to rediscover the magic of
Versailles.

After standing in the entry line for what felt like hours, we were finally granted entry behind those famous golden gates. Drenched in history, the Palace of Versailles stands for more than just a
famous landmark – it is one of the great reminders and symbols of the
past. Not only is the Palace a sprawling display of power, but the
golden gates and gold detailing serves as a truly luxurious display of the monarchy’s wealth at the height of their reign.

The inside of the Palace was just as beautiful and immense as I remembered. Every cornice, moulding, ceiling and door is adorned with the most
beautiful and delicate details, and the enormous paintings hanging from the sky-high
walls have captured a truly fascinating period of time. Navigating our way through each room, and each layer, among a throng of other tourists, was akin to finding our way through
a great maze. Just when we thought we had to be getting towards the end, a grand staircase would appear and we would ascend to find even more unexplored territory.

In all the rooms and chambers and halls we traversed and discovered, of which there were many!, the highlights for me were the famed Galerie des Glaces
(Hall of Mirrors), the Grands appartements du roi and de la reine (King
and Queen chambers) and the Galerie des Batailles (Hall of Battles) depicting the milestone battles in French history. The ceilings in each and every room were especially mesmerizing and by the end of our visit my neck was aching from all the ceiling gazing I did!

The
world inside the Palace is so completely captivating and submerging
that for a while there, we lost ourselves entirely to the Palace of
Versailles, along with any notion of time and place. Glimpses through the windows to the gardens stretching beyond served as our only
real reminder of whether it was night or day. Finally, after hours of
wandering through the Palace, shoulder to shoulder with all the other
tourists, we followed the light to the end of the maze and found
ourselves blinking in the sun on the edge of the gardens.

I’ll share all about the Palace of Versailles Gardens next week! There are far too many photos to contain them all in one post! Have you visited the Palace of Versailles before? Thanks so much for reading! XO

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