Saturday, July 11, 2015

Versailles, France: Palace of Versailles

Courtyard of Honour

Royal Courtyard

Royal Gate

The Latona Fountain and Parterre

Chapel

Hall of Mirrors

Grand Trianon

Petit Trianon

A few years ago, a former boss advised me that if I ever take a trip to Paris, I have to go to Versailles. I had a general inkling of the place but I never thought about researching it. When Hubs and I arrived at the Palace of Versailles, it didn't occur to me this place would be massive. The property spans 17 acres! There is no way you can walk around the entire property without renting a golf cart. There is a mini train that takes you from the palace through the gardens to the Grand Trianon and Petit Trianon.

The area I wish to return to is the Hameau de la Reine (also known as the Queen's Hamlet). During our visit, it has not been restored and was deteriorating quickly. The hamlet was a faux farming village where it allowed Marie-Antoinette to escape the responsibilities of court life. It was believed she enjoyed dressing as a young shepherdess and acting like a peasant while being surrounded by the comforts of the royal lifestyle. Marie-Antoinette was a spoiled brat so it wasn't a surprise that she was beheaded during the French Revolution. The palace was amazing but it was over-the-top for a period of upheaval of the country's political landscape.

Recommendations and tips:
  1. Buy tickets in advanced and arrive early. Expect to spend the whole day on site.
  2. During the high season, expect high attendance. I recommend visiting the Gardens and the Palaces of Trianon first before visiting the main Palace.
  3. Rent a golf cart to roam around the gardens.
  4. There is a Laduree on-site near the exit of the Palace.
  5. Large baggage is not permitted on the premise. Bags are searched/x-rayed and visitors must pass through metal detectors prior to entering the palace.
  6. Tickets are not required to visit the Gardens.

Palace of Versailles
Place d'Armes
78000 Versailles, France

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