Monday, 3 October 2016

Chateau de Versailles + Laduree, France

This magnificent and enormous royal chateau in Versailles was home of the kings of France from 1661 (Louis XIV) to 1789 (Louis XVI). It was the symbol of absolute monarch and French grandeur during the reign of Louis XIV, the Roi Soleil (Sun King). This stunning 17th-century palace located 12 miles southwest of Paris is a must-visit attraction. Enjoy the views of its famous gardens and see how French royals once lived in these luxurious state apartments decorated with rich tapestries and furniture.  

 Versailles is one of the places I have been wanting to visit since I was in high school. I had often wondered how it would have been like to wander around these manicured lawns with tree-lined paths, numerous fountains, ponds and sculptures. Well, it is beautiful and massive and because it is really huge wandering became a bit tiring after awhile. We only realized halfway through the gardens that we should have rented a buggy that allows you to visit the gardens and grounds. I highly recommend hiring one

The Hall of Mirrors in the central gallery of the palace is my absolute favourite room. It is amazing and I was overwhelmed by its beauty and opulence. It was crowded but I waited for most of them to move on and stayed back for a while. I wanted fully appreciate the few seconds of silence and absorb the beauty of its art on ceilings, paintings, guilded sculptures and the ornate mirrors and chandeliers. It gives me a grin whenever I recall this wonderful moment. 

 A trip to Paris will never be complete without a visit to Laduree. Their shop in Versailles can be accessed with a palace entrance ticket. Oh my goodness, my knees went wobbly in front of these delicious looking treats! Plus, there are so many pretty looking things I would like to give to myself!

Plan and research your trip well. Check the times and days when crowds are less. Go to their website for visitor tips. Buy your tickets online in advance. Check the weather update as well. We were supposed to go in the afternoon but I found out the day before that it was going to rain so I moved it to morning instead. See the dark clouds looming in the background of some of my photos. We were so lucky on the day we went, there were no queues! Yes, no lines of people waiting to go in! We visited in mid April, on a Saturday morning around 9am. Hope that helps.  

The Palace seen from the Marble courtyard.

Portrait of Marie Antoinette by Wertmüller.

The huge golden key to the Palace of Versailles.

The Royal Chapel where the marriage of Louis XVI to Marie Antoinette was officiated.

Venus drawing-room doors.

Mercury room, King Louis XIV's official bedroom.

The King's chamber

Mars drawing-room with all military theme inspired decoration.

 War drawing-room


Gardens of the Château (Les Jardins)

Enceladus fountain

Mirror fountain

Apollo Fountain

Flore fountain

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