What visit to Paris would be complete without a trip to Versailles. A short train trip from central Paris, Versaille is of course famously the former residence of Queen Marie-Antoinette.
The queues to get into Versailles were phenomenally long and move incredibly slowly – and we had already purchased our tickets in a small shop in the adjacent town. I won’t bore you with the pictures of cobblestones, pigeons, and the queue, all taken as we tried to maintain enthusiasm as we waited to get in. You are never alone in Versailles – a sentiment I believe shared by Marie-Antoinette!
But Versailles is definitely worth the wait. It is grand – gilded and carved marble relief, the ceilings painted with spectacular tableaux. The sharp edges of the marble staircase are worn smooth and rounded, from the feet of many traipsing up and down inspecting the rooms – it would be interesting to know how much of the wear is from tourists and how much already existed. The rooms are set up as they were in the times of Royalty with amazing furniture.
The gardens are also magnificent. Neatly manicured forests, geometrically perfectly clipped hedges, vast reflecting ponds, fountains with elaborate statues. And of course Grand Trianon and Petit Trianon, the private houses of the King and Queen, also set in the gardens. Much smaller and much less gilded and gaudy, they are none-the-less, still luxurious and beautiful.
If you would like more information on Versailles, and some fabulous photographs without tourists in them (!) I can recommend the following books:
If you liked this post you might also like some more posts from France…..
Arrival in Paris
Caves of Lascaux
Standing Stones of Carnac
Les Grottos en France
Eiffel Tower (Tour Eiffel)
Streets of Paris
Arc de Triomphe