Exploring France - Château de Versailles
When visiting Paris, you just have to make the trip out to Versailles to visit "Château de Versailles" (The Palace of Versailles) and "Jardins du château de Versailles" (The Gardens of Versailles). The Palace was home and royal palace of French Kings Louis XIV, Louis XV and Louis XVI (14, 15, 16) until the French Revolution. During our trip, we learned that it was also the home of Marie Antoinette, the wife of Louis XVI. (I had no idea!!) A lot of the 2006 film on Marie Antoinette was actually filmed at the palace too, how cool!.
We decided to go with a guided tour, which included a bus ride from Paris to Versailles (about 20-30mins). We were so glad that we did the tour once we saw the extremely long lines of tourists waiting to enter the palace. With the tour (City Wonders), we were able to skip the line and enter the palace fairly quickly. I highly recommend doing this for that reason alone!
Our tour began with the Gardens of Versailles. Let me just say, they are HUGE!! The gardens are over 800 hectares of land - we toured only a small portion of them and it was quite a bit of walking. If you want to see them all, be prepared to stay behind after the tour and explore for hours. That said, everything we saw in the gardens was beautiful.
After getting a short tour of the gardens, we skipped the line and went right into the chaos inside the palace. According to our tour guide, it was actually a quiet day, but there were so many people in there! The palace itself is amazing, gorgeous, beautiful and any other word you can think of to describe opulence and extravagance.
The entrance to the famous "Hall of Mirrors" is filled with gold. Apparently, mirrors the size of a small hand-held mirrors could take up to 7 years to make back when this hall was constructed, so breaking one gave you 7 years of bad luck (who knew!). So building this grand hall was the complete opposite of a humble brag. Imagine spending all that money for a hall filled with huge mirrors and gold, just to show off just how much money and power you have! And we think the Kardashians are bad :)
This is the room that belonged to Marie Antoinette. How amazing is this room? For those that don't know, she was also known as Madame Déficit because of her lavish spending. The French financial crisis was partially blamed on her. Gotta admit she's got some style though!
Almost every room in the palace looked like this one - amazing artwork and exquisite detail in gold.
The outside of the palace has it's share of gold too!
Château de Versailles http://en.chateauversailles.fr/homepage