King Midas would just adore Versailles – gold, gold, and gold everywhere. This was our second visit to the Palace of Versailles, as the first time, in 2014, we went on a Saturday in September. Talk about crowds: it was so crammed with people that we left as soon as we could, without seeing all of it. This time, it was pretty busy, with lots of buses parked in the lot. However, by early afternoon the crowd was sparse and calmed down, except when we left, more buses were pulling in!
So, Versailles was built out in the country as a hunting lodge by King Louis XIII before it was added on to, more and more and more, so that today, it has 2,300 rooms in total. The entire modern city of Versailles has sprung up around it, beautifully landscaped and modern in every way. The palace is the main attraction and tourist draw, of course, with 15 million visitors per year. We were surrounded by American tourists as we slogged through the King’s and Queen’s chambers and auxiliary rooms, and chatted with them quite a bit.
The palace has also changed its ticketing. The last time, we purchased a ticket, toured the palace, and quickly made a beeline out to the gardens to be able to breathe. So this time we purchased a ticket, only to be dismayed to find out that it was only for the palace interior and did not include the gardens. We will explore them the next time we are here. During the pandemic, we took a 48-part university course dealing with the history of France and the French Revolution. It was so interesting to visit here, knowing all the history that occurred in the hallways and on the grounds of Versailles. It held kings and queens and the Emperor, Napoleon Bonaparte. It is now administered by the state, as so many grand historical buildings are, due to the cost of maintaining such a huge property.