The center of political power in France from 1682 when Louis XIV moved from Paris until 1789 after the beginning of the French Revolution. Chateau de Versailles or simply known as Versailles, became a witness of the opulent, glamorous and at times horrifying history of the French Royalties.
On my last full day in Paris, I decided to hop on a RER C train en route to Versailles Chateau/ Rive Gauch and see why this palace is part of the ‘must see attractions’ in and around Paris.
The main tip I got to prepare for this trip was to arrive early because the line can be very crazy’.
Finding my way to Versailles using the RER C train was easy. I arrived around 8am and the line looks like a scene from snakes and ladders. I spent almost 3 hours queuing just to get it. Although i know that 3 hours was a lot, I really enjoyed it because I met my first Travel Family, The Berangers.
They were French locals visiting Versailles for the first time. Such a charming family. They became my family for the whole day and until now I am friends and still in contact with all of them.
I must admit, I don’t have any concrete clue about the French History (aside from a brief intro I got from the Louvre and a few references from Les Miserables 😛 ).Thank God for audio tours!
The moment you entered, lavish decorations and rich collections of masterpieces will welcome you. Rooms after rooms will transport you to the life of the rich and famous where mansions along Beverly Hills will look like a maid’s quarter.
One of the highlights of my visit was walking along the Hall of Mirrors.The Hall of Mirrors is the central gallery of the palace connecting the private apartments to the royal chapel. A grand hall with a stretch of mirror clad arches reflecting the window overlooking the luscious garden. Imagine this place fully lighted with all the golden ornaments shining brightly and you are watching the King of France with the royal family walking along the corridor. Whew, that would have been a scene. Apparently that was an everyday case during the time of King Louis XIV (correct me if I am wrong here :P).
Walls covered with artworks depicting part of the French History. Compared to the Louvre, the galleries in Versailles are concentrated more on French History. You’ll feel overwhelmed being surrounded with these large paintings. Each relating to an important part of history.
Like every museum tour, a break is a must! We had a quick bite of house sandwiches and ——–> a french macaron. yheap—MACARON!
It was also an opportunity for me to know my new family. It is amazing how this trip became own of the best because of the people I met.
After our tour inside the palace, we did a quick tour of the garden. The garden itself will require a full day of walking around. Because it was getting a bit late and we need to catch the train back, we decided to just tour around the fountain area and a bit of the sculpted box woods.
Take note, you’ll have to pay separately to enter the garden.
Aside from arriving early, my only tip when you are planning a visit is to read on the French History (youtube and history channel will help as well) as I can imagine how overwhelming to see the rooms and gardens where Marie Antoinette walked feels like. After my trip, believe me, I read read (and watched) everything about the royal family and the French Revolution.
To know more while you plan your trip to Versailles, check out the links below.