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On this trip to Paris, since we had almost a week, we decided to spend a full day at Versailles and enjoy the sights leisurely.  I(Chris) went there many years ago with my mum but I cannot find any photos from that visit.


The Château de Versailles is one of those must-see tourist attraction in France. But when every one visiting Paris has the same idea, the place becomes impossibly congested – it is only 10 miles from the center of Paris. Many came as a group led by a guide who rushes them through the rooms. Thankfully, at least the grounds of the palace is so vast that one can usually find some space to breathe.


We arrived by RER C train at Versailles – Rive Gauche and had a nice lunch in a Lebanese restaurant on Rue de Satory – this is a pedestrian only street lined with many restaurants – it was not entirely touristy – as there were people from offices nearby eating with us.  We highly recommend this detour to any one visiting the palace.


On the day of our visit, the weather was not cooperating – it was wet and cold. So it was not fun to walk around in the gardens. The upside of the bad weather is that there are fewer people around and we can take some pictures without crowds.


The site began as Louis XIII’s hunting lodge before his son Louis XIV transformed and expanded it, moving the court and government of France to Versailles in 1682. It was effectively the capital of France for about 100 years until the French Revolution in 1789.  Each of the three French kings who lived there enlarged the palace and added improvements.


Before the French Revolution, it was progressively built up to display the country’s wealth and power to impress royal visitors. The city of Versailles is historically known for numerous treaties such as the Treaty of Paris (1783), which ended the American Revolutionary War and the Treaty of Versailles, after World War I.


The most famous room is the Hall of Mirrors (La galerie des Glaces). The principal feature of this famous hall is the seventeen mirror-clad arches that reflect the seventeen arcaded windows which overlook the gardens.


This ceiling painting in the Hall of Mirrors had figures climbing come out of the gilded frame.


While the interiors of Versailles practically defined the meaning of opulence, the formal gardens are breathtaking. To me, the garden is far more interesting than the rooms. The Gardens of Versailles were created by André Le Nôtre between 1662 and 1700.

versailles-16 The views and perspectives, to and from the palace is remarkable. Makes one think of infinity.


The geometric designs and perfect shapes of the shrubs are fantastic.  The jardin à la française is a style of garden based on symmetry and the principle of imposing order over nature.


More pictures of Versailles to come!


One Comment

  1. My family visited here on July 7, 2013. It was really beautiful.

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