Versailles: The Sun King’s Palace


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Although it was started as a small hunting lodge, King Louis XIV turned the Château de Versailles into his royal palace. Known for its extravagance during the reign of King Louis XVI and his infamous Queen Marie Antoinette, the palace is now a symbol of the French monarchy and its extravagance.

Versailles is a short train ride from the centre of Paris and so I decided to make a day trip out of it. It was a cold and windy winter day but the skies were clear and sunny since all the rain this week has finally passed.

The royal apartments were wrapped in velvet and cast in gold. Every surface was either painted, or covered in paintings. The portraits were mostly of the royal family about their daily lives in the palace. Some of them I recognized from my studies, such as the ones of Marie Antoinette and Napoléon. I also visited the most famous room of the Château of Versailles, the Hall of Mirrors, which was filled with as many crystal chandeliers as its namesake mirrors.

The palace is not the only building on the royal grounds. Marie Antoinette created her own little hamlet and farm on the complex, alongside secondary residences such as the Grand Trianon and the Petit Trianon. There were so many gardens that it wasn’t hard to get lost. With 230 of more than 2,000 acres as gardens alone, it’s easier than you would think!



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