France Versailles 2000.06.30

Louis XIV Decadence

The Château de Versailles was constructed during the reign of King Louis XIV from his father's hunting grounds. According to a guidebook, Louis XIV was motivated to build the grandest château in Europe after seeing another palace that humbled his own residence. Louis XIV threw the palace owner in jail and promptly started building something more grandiose. He recruited the most talented architects, painters, and sculptors in Europe to complete his project. The result is the most spectacular château in France.

This is a must see. The level of decadence is mesmerizing and revolting at the same time. Wes found himself repeatedly saying, "Why would anyone need this much?"

See the main building which includes the State Apartments, Hall of Mirrors, and Queen's Suite. Also walk through the gardens. If you have the time and energy, visit the Queen's Hamlet on the northeast side of the grounds, about 2km away from the main building. Skip the Grand Trianon and Petit Trianon, both of which have additional entry fees but pale in comparison to the main building.

Getting to the Château de Versailles:

Château de Versailles, main building hours:
Tue, Wed, Thr, Fri, Sat, Sun: 09:00-17:30
Monday and public holidays: closed

Château de Versailles, garden hours:
Mon, Tue, Wed, Thr, Fri, Sat, Sun: 07:00-nightfall

Lower arches and upper pillars in this chapel is representative of the architectural style of the château. The light colored marble floors reflect window light and brighten the spacious rooms.
The Hall of Mirrors is one of the most outrageous displays of wealth. The labor and materials required for this room started several businesses in Paris that continue to exist.
Life size brass fountain ornaments adorn the "garden palace" that was specially created to compliment the palace buildings of the château. This point in the grounds is 1km from the main building. The end of the cross shaped man-made lake in the background is another 2km away.

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