Versailles, France

By Liz

I departed London for Paris, France. It is such an extreme difference in personality in France than in Britain. The Brits are sweet and kind, while the French think they are elegant.

Versailles was the home of Louis XV. This is one of the most famous chateaus in the world. Versailles was the capital of France for more than one hundred years. Much of French history took place at Versailles during the reigns of Louis XIV, Louis XV and Louis XVI.

This château started out as a hunting lodge. The château has many wings for different purposes. The lower part of the north wing was for the princes, but was destroyed when Louis-Philippe turned it into a museum. The hall of mirrors is a favorite attraction. It has seventeen windows matched with seventeen mirrored archways.

The château had several courtyards. The north and south had twenty rooms on the first floor. The ground floor had 35 rooms.

The chambers had two large candelabrum and two sugar bowls with the same metal as was on the fireplace, and this is the room the king really slept in.

The gardens covered 14,820 acres, surrounded by 27 miles of walls. Today it has about 2013 acres. The garden had 36 fountains on display. Each one was more beautiful than the other.

Inside the garden was a canal about 5118 feet long and 384 feet wide. During festivals a boat ride on the canal with illuminated banks would follow a walk through the beautifully lit gardens. The gondoliers were brought from Venice by the king and to this day, the spot is called Little Venice.

The garden also has a Swiss Lake called the Lake of Swiss Guards. The lake is 2237 feet by 768 feet and was dug by the Swiss Guards of Louis XIV.

There is one last wing to the château. It is called the Grand Trianon. It has 19 rooms. These were mainly drawing rooms and empress chambers. It also had its own gardens. Marie Antoinette had her own theatre.

This was beauty beyond beauty.

March 13, 2011

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