Bonjour from Versailles!!
Our first class excursions was to Versailles, a city outside of Paris known for the palace and garden of King Louis XIV. Only around 45 minute by train, it was easy to get there as a class and disperse among the garden first to explore the grounds around the palace. King Louis XIV was known as a very well respected king during his reign. A lot of the respect was garnered through the Château de Versailles, the palace. More facts about his reign and his remarkable home to follow!
This is a view of the back of the castle. The castle is huge! I only captured one section of the building. Behind me is the fabulous garden.
The garden has a long pathway towards this huge fountain. Behind me is the famous lake that looks as if it goes on forever. In this photo, you can still see the grandeur of the huge palace in the horizon.
This is Hellena and I smizing in front of the castle. Thanks Hellena, for this amazing photo that captures the symmetry and beauty of the Versailles palace. You rock!
King Louis the XIV was known as the sun god, or Apollo, whom he linked himself to publicly as a reminder of his power. He lived extravagantly and the grandeur of this palace is one of the many things he left for people to admire years to come. Apollo is referenced in many of the paintings inside the palace. On the outside, all the golden paint reflects the light Apollo symbolizes. There were also many clocks like the one in the center of the top of the building behind us. The clocks were often painted gold and decorated with a sun for Apollo as well.
Back in the garden, I fell in love with all the little trees that were trimmed. There were so many and according to what history I have studied, King Louis XIV wanted his garden to be perfect, with every detail accounted for because this would emphasize his power as ruler of France. He displayed his control by controlling everything he could, including where the trees in his garden grew and what shape they would be.
Here is a tiny fountain with gold and marble statues right by the back of the palace.
The sides of the garden are hidden by a maze in the trees.
Our class got to take an audio tour of the huge palace. The inside was just as magnificent as it was outside. This is King Louis XIV's fireplace. The entire palace was adorned with huge paintings on the wall. The walls were made of marble and everything was larger than life.
King Louis XIV's bed was easily accessible by all. He woke up twice every morning, first by his servants to really wake up get ready for the day, and a second time as a show for some important nobles/lucky civilians to see. It was an honor to watch the king wake. This "waking ceremony" was another way to distance himself from the everyday man. He was a god and when a god wakes up, it's a big deal.
Also, the king chose to have his bedroom face the rising sun (Apollo!).
The famed hall of mirrors was spectacular! Mirrors were very expensive back then so King Louis XIV filled this room with mirrors as a grand display of wealth.
A hall filled with statues lined one side of the palace and displayed sculptures of the king himself along with many other notable figures in history.
A hall of paintings showed more notable figures and events that occurred during the king's reign.
More scultures! This hall went on forever, just as the garden did.
Me and my little photobomber in front of one of the many golden gates that lined the king's home.
Laduree made a special set of macarons to match the golden palace!
King Louis XIV greets you again on your way of of his vast home.
I can't wait to go back already. There are so many convenient places to visit outside of Paris while studying abroad in Paris. C'est la vie!
More Blogs From This Author
<p>Salut! Je m'appelle Gwen. I am a sophomore at Babson College and currently about 11% fluent in French. I hope to remedy that while wining and dining in the beautiful city of Paris. I am majoring in Business with a focus in Marketing. Follow along my stories to experience the ups and downs of studying abroad à Paris!</p>