Chateau de Versailles
Day 5. November 17th, 2019.
Chateau de Versailles, Paris.
This had to be the highlight of the trip!
Louvre Museum falls to second place now. 🙈
Alright. Back to our lesson on “How to pronounce French words?”.
This place is to be pronounced as Shatoo di Versaiya. I know, guys. The way they spell the words are totally different from the way they pronounce them. I’m having the same issue when I got here too. LOL!
Before I proceed, I just have to say, if you guys ever have the chance to travel to Paris, PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE go to this place! This place is already luxurious and exclusive from the outside. You have NO idea how spectacular it is on the inside!
It was bewitching. 🥰
(I think this is the best word to describe it!)
Seriously, people. This palace is so damn beautiful!
It is so beautiful that I thought I was going to faint. 😂
(I am not exaggerating. I truly felt that way. Hehe.)
Every single thing about this palace is so fancy and grandeur.
I am so so in love with Paris once I step into this palace. It’s official. I am crazy about this palace! 🤩
The paintings, the pillars, the ceilings, the walls, the sculptures, the chandeliers, the royal bedrooms, the ballroom, OMG!
Now, my favourite part of this trip, HISTORY.
(You heard me right. I love to read about the world history. 😁)
What is Chateau de Versailles?
France’s kings were first attracted to Versailles because of the area’s prolific game. Louis XIII, who lived 1601-1643, bought up land, built a chateau and went on hunting trips. At the time, much of the land around Versailles was uncultivated, allowing wild animals to flourish. Louis XIV ruled France for 72 years, and in that time transformed Versailles by encompassing Louis XIII’s chateau with a palace that contained north and south wings, as well as nearby buildings housing ministries.
Versailles was built to impress. The most important message Louis XIV sent through the architecture of Versailles was his ultimate power. He is an absolute monarch, untouchable and distant. But, even more then that, he is the Sun King. That symbolism of the Sun King is very visible in the architecture of the Versailles. The painter Lebrun, who designed the iconographic program of the Palace, focused paintings, sculptures and the architecture to one goal only — celebrating the King.
[Source: Palace of Versailles: Facts & History]
More on Chateau de Versailles.
A series of gardens, created in a formal style, stood to the west of the palace (in the shape of a star) and contained sculptures as well as the pressurized fountains capable of launching water high into the air. The formality and grandeur of the gardens symbolized Louis XIV’s absolute power, even over nature.
Building such a lavish complex was an important part of Louis XIV’s style of rule and beliefs about the monarch. As king of France, he was the embodiment of France — and his palace was meant to display the wealth and power of his nation. Furthermore, it was vital to him to enhance France’s status in Europe; not just by military feats but in the arts as well. For instance, when the Hall of Mirrors was built, Louis XIV wanted to show that France could produce mirrors just as fine as those produced in Italy, and consequently, all the mirrors of that hall were made on French soil.”
[Source: Palace of Versailles: Facts & History]
This palace is now a historical monument and a UNESCO World Heritage site, notable especially for the ceremonial Hall of Mirrors, the jewel-like Royal Opera, the royal apartments (the Grand Trianon, Petit Trianon, and the small rustic Hamlet), and the vast gardens of Versailles with fountains, canals, and geometric flower beds and groves.
This is interesting. 🤓
Did you know that all its furnishings were stripped off after the French Revolution?
I didn’t. 😁
However, all of these paintings, furniture, decorations and more were returned and most of the palace rooms have been restored.
The stairs, the doors, the lamps~ 💕💕
(Still not moving on, yet? 🤪)
That was just the Main Palace, okay! The Main Palace of Versailles.
Now, it is the main garden’s turn. 😍
(For your information, this palace is super huge. I’ve spent the entire day here and I think you should too. Please don’t forget to arrange a day trip to this Chateau de Versailles in your itinerary. *wink)
As every palace in the world would have, a garden. So does the French.
If you think the Main Palace is already stunning, you have to see their main garden. It is enchanting! 💖
They even decorated the garden in a maze and it was Autumn!
(How can I describe this feeling? 😭)
Everything was just like a movie to me. Just like those movies that I used to watch (with this kind of garden), and I was able to see it with my own eyes. I felt so blessed!
I’m not done yet. 😗
Then, I walked to another royal residence that was built in the middle of this garden, called the Petit Trianon. It was built in 1758 but completed in 1768.
(I’m not sure why they took a decade to complete the residence, though. 🤨)
Based on my readings, King of France, King Louis XVI gave the Petit Trianon and its estate as a gift to his bride, Queen Marie-Antoinette, who rapidly made it her own and set about redecorating the exteriors.
My journey to the Petit Trianon was another thing.
That moment had to be the best walking experience I’ve ever had. I don’t mind walking around the vast garden the whole day! Everything about the garden was so fascinating.
I’ve been typically spent the entire journey taking A LOT of photos of the gardens and groves. 😋
Marie Antoinette would come to the Petit Trianon not only to escape the formality of court life but also to shake off the burden of her royal responsibilities. At Versailles, she was under considerable pressure and judgement from both her family and the court, and the Petit Trianon was her place of ease and leisure where she could rest from those trials. Since all was “de par la Reine” (by order of the Queen), none were permitted to enter the property without the Queen’s express permission. Such exclusivity alienated the court nobility, which she did very willingly since only the queen’s “inner circle” were invited.
Within the queen’s apartment, Marie Antoinette’s need for privacy is apparent: the decor of her boudoir displays an inventiveness unique to the age, featuring mirrored panels that, by the simple turning of a crank, can be raised or lowered to obscure the windows and reflect the candlelight. Her bedroom, although simple, is also elegant in accordance with her general style.
[Source: Petit Trianon]
Obviously, there would be a garden within the Petit Trianon estate. 🥰
The garden is not that vast as the Main Garden as I showed earlier, but this garden is still as BEAUTIFUL as the Main Garden.
This garden got me started to think that,
“Am I in Heaven?” 💞
I just don’t get it. There were Maple leaves everywhere!
Why on Earth is this place looks so enchanting? Why? Why?
It was a blessing to be at this place. I could not thank God enough for this opportunity. Coming here was the best decision ever made. Haha!
Do you think that their gardens would be this beautiful during Spring?
(Not that I’m thinking of coming here again in April. 🤭)
Since I am so so in LOVE with this palace, let me introduce you to the gardener, who was responsible for the breathtaking view of the gardens.
The Versailles gardens, designed by André Le Nôtre, have been a worldwide reference since the 17th century. A humble gardener without specialized training, Le Nôtre designed and conceived a series of gardens, groves, and parks for the palace and its domaine. These works of art are also a paradise representative of the ambitions of Louis XIV when he was a young king. André Le Nôtre is known for the finesse of his formal flowerbed compositions and optical illusions without precedent. The use of large, sweeping perspectives allows for impressive panoramas. His achievements were, and still are, considered to be the work of a genius and spanned 25 long years during which the gardens of Versailles would continue to grow in size and splendor.
[Source: The Gardens of Versailles]
As I said, you would need an entire day to complete the estate. So, I’m not finished yet. 🤣
I wanted to go and mesmerize the Queen’s Hamlet or also known as Hameau de la Reine, which was the meeting place for the Queen and her closest friends. Basically, her place for leisure.
However, I was unable to do that because they closed the place. 😢
Thus, my journey continued to the Grand Trianon. It is a little palace of pink marble and porphyry, with its own gardens.
Personally, it is not my type of palace. 🙈
The Grand Trianon didn’t really impress me because I think the architecture was too modernized.
History of the Grand Trianon.
In 1663 and 1665, Louis XIV purchased Trianon, a hamlet on the outskirts of Versailles, and commissioned the architect Louis Le Vau to design a porcelain pavilion (Trianon de porcelaine) to be built there. The façade was made of white and blue Delft-style “porcelain” (ceramic) tiles from the French manufactures of Rouen, Lisieux, Nevers, and Saint-Cloud. Construction began in 1670 and was finished in 1672. Because it was made in porcelain, the building suffered from deterioration. Louis XIV ordered its demolition in 1686 and replaced it by a larger residence. Begun in 1687, the fragile ceramic tiles had deteriorated to such a point that Louis XIV ordered the demolition of the pavilion and its replacement with one made of stronger material. The new construction (as we see it today) was finished in January 1688 and inaugurated by Louis XIV and his secret wife, the marquise de Maintenon, during the summer of 1688.
[Source: Grand Trianon]
That’s the end of the Palace of Versailles day trip. I love this trip so so much! 🤩
I’ll say this again, PLEASE include this place as part of your itinerary. You won’t regret it. I promise! This place is such an amazing place.
As a History lover, I’ve learnt a lot of new things from this trip. Yay!
How did I get here?
It was easy. I’ve taken the Subway train from my hotel in Villejuif and took off at Gare de Versailles Chateau Rive Gauche station.
(I’ve purchased the Paris Visite 5 days Zone 1-5 train pass at the CDG Airport earlier. So, I was able to traveled to this train station without any extra charge.)
I’ve looked up in the map (which was provided along the streets) and walked for about 10 minutes to the main gate of the palace.
How much did I pay for the entrance fee?
I’ve booked the entrance ticket to this Palace of Versailles with an audio guide about a month prior to my trip. I’ve booked through Kkday again for MYR 84 per person. The redemption was as easy as Disneyland Paris. I just have to printed out the ticket, showed them the ticket and collected the audio guide at the counter. It was fast and convenient.
How much did I pay for the buggy transportation within the palace?
They provide buggy transportation called Les Petits Trains within the estate.
(This palace is enormous. Remember?)
I was able to ride on the buggy while on my way back to the main entrance. The tariff was only EUR 4.30 one way.
P/S: For more information, you may visit their official website at http://en.chateauversailles.fr/. 🔊