Day 1,574 of Traveling the World | Versailles, France | May 25, 2022

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.

Versailles! The first glimpse after you get past the golden fence.
Do any of you have a blindingly gold fence, like this? We thought not.
The Royal Chapel.
The ceilings in every room were magnificent.
See what we mean about the ceilings? The door is glorious, the pictures and busts interesting, the molding joining walls and ceiling is over-the-top. BUT the ceiling is what you notice.
Additionally, all the ceilings were different shapes. The previous one was one large mural, while this one was subdivided.
This ceiling in the Red Room (don’t know the actual name) also had a variety of scenes.
No matter how superb the ceiling, chandeliers were hanging from the center panel in all of the rooms.
Louis XVI’s bedroom…very private, and decorated with feather plumes on the top four corners.
Marie Antoinette’s bedroom. She spent most of her time in this room. Notice the jewelry chest on the extreme left…to its right, you can see the outline of a door in the wall. This is where Marie Antoinette escaped when the peasants stormed the palace, looking to apprehend the king and queen. Both were executed by guillotine four years later.
The one and only La Galerie des Glaces – the Hall of Mirrors. This long view is spectacular. Originally a terrace, it was enclosed and became one of the most famous rooms in the world. But, the purpose of all the decoration and ostentation was to impress and overwhelm visitors.
A perfect photo! The ceiling center, looking up into the chandelier.
Just a stairway hall in Versailles…..
The Gallery of Battles. Huge painting after huge painting of war, war, war. The flooring and glass ceiling dome are very nice, though.
Part of the gardens (the part you can see for free).
Another part of the gardens that you can see for free, with a small fountain.
The back of Versailles, facing the gardens, lined with statuary along the rooftop.
There was a special dinner party at the palace the first night we arrived, and we encountered this couple in our hotel, ready to head next door to Versailles. Every detail of their costumes and wigs was perfectly 18th century!
There were more partygoers when we walked past Versailles to go to dinner. Other than a modern poster on the fence announcing an event, you wouldn’t know if you were in the 18th century or the 21st!
Once again, you could be fooled, if not for the fact that cameras (or cell phones, where cameras live) didn’t exist 350 years ago.
A pretty boulevard we walked several times near the palace.
Our hotel, the Waldorf Astoria Trianon Palace, is adjacent to the Palace of Versailles. It served as a hospital for British troops during WWI, and hosted Eisenhower, Patton, and de Gaulle during WWII. John D. Rockefeller, J. Paul Getty, and Marlene Dietrich stayed here when they visited Paris, just 15 miles away. Our room was normal, not over the top and not excessively ostentatious. The breakfast buffet was outstanding.