Tuesday, 3 November 2009

Let them eat cake!

Whilst Louis X1V's policies, spending habits and treatment of his people were undoubtably wrong on every level, he did however manage to leave France and the world one of the best man made tourist attractions ever (I'm sure that there is a lesson in there somewhere!!!). I had imagined that the palace of Versaille would be something like Chatsworth, but on a grander scale. I wasn't prepared for just how enormous the scale was and how this extended to the town or the gardens. Words and pictures can never convey the grandeur and the opulance and the sheer "WOW!!!" of the place. If you have been, you'll know what I mean - if you haven't - just go.

The Opera house which is attached to the palace hosts concerts on a regular basis - the next time I visit, I shall make sure that I catch one of these.

We decided that we would not have time to visit the interior of the Palace as the queues for tickets were enormous - so next time, I will book these in advance. However it was far too nice a day to spend indoors and there were other parts of the estate I really wanted to visit.
All the flower borders had been emptied but the autumnal colours of the trees were beautiful.

Marie Antoinette's "Play area's" were off the scale. I had read about the Grand and Petite Trianon's and the farm when I was at school and had earmarked these as the places I would like to look around.
The little theatre where she staged her own plays (it was too dark to photograph) was the sweetest thing I had ever seen - apart from...........

the hamlet and farm that she had built to play in.

We parked for free, it only cost 10 euros each for hubby and I to visit the Trianons and farm, and like most of the attractions in Paris, kids under 18 go free - so all in all a truly marvelous and inexpensive day out.
Another one of my favorite parts of the day was wandering around the town of Versaille when it got dark and having a good nosey in at all the wonderful apartments lit up for the evening. So simple and elegant and so shabby chic.


Joanne said...

Oh boy and I thought Chatsworth was impressive.
Best start saving my pennies so I can go visit here might take a few years.
Another great post.

Joanne x

elsy said...

thanks for the words diane...a big help.i so so want to go back to paris....you have evoked the atmosphere magnificently in your post and yes peeking into those elegant apartments at night is magic. the only thing you really missed inside is the hall of mirrors but it is the gardens that are breathtaking. any more to share of your trip?

Michela said...

Diane, no problem with your lovely comment..I was just off for dinner!

WOW!!!Such a shame, I really missed to visit Versailles when I went to Paris..but I went to Eurodisney ;-)
Have you ever been to Shoenbrunn in Wien? It's very big too!
See you tomorrow then.. pour un'autre promenade !

andamento said...

I still can't belive the colour of the skies! Best to view the gardens in such fantastic weather. Beautiful.

By the way, I've nominated you for a blogging award - see my last post for details. You're not obliged to accept!


Beautiful photos Diane. I voted for you in the Dorset Cereals blog award thingy xx

Menopausal musing said...

Wow! What a place...... thanks for the tour! :O)

Rosie said...

It's quite a place isn't it? You've taken some wonderful photos. I remember the view of the formal garden down to the fountain. I went on my first trip to Paris in 1970 and we were taken by coach to Versailles - we went inside and I remember the Hall of Mirrors where the treaty to end WW1 was signed. I also remember the town. I'd love to see the Trianons and the farm. Thanks for sharing it all with us:)

Suzy's Vintage Attic said...

Oh how much I have enjoyed your Paris posts, each one of them a joy to read and to look at the beautiful photos.
Each time I have been to Paris Versailles was closed! It is on my must see list.
Thank you for the enjoyable tour!
Isabelle x

The Girl said...

I love the fountain with the chariot and the horses - is it Apollo? Can't remember now.

It's one of the only things I remember from Versailles. It was crazily hot when we went and there was a water ban so I never saw any of the fountains playing.

And I remember the Hall of Mirrors inside the Palace. You definitely should try and go inside if you go again!

Petit Filoux said...

Oh it's so funny seeing holiday photos of the town where I'm from!!! The farm bit is definitely my favourite part of the park. Glad the sun was out for you, it always makes things look better too!

JuliaB said...

Wow! I have always wanted to go to Versailles .... it's even more spectacular than I imagined!! Thanks for the wonderful tour! xx

Lisa said...

I can't believe that village! I knew MA had something built, but didn't know the scale of it.
I see you are planning a return trip!
Lisa x

Rowan said...

I've never been to Versailles but reading this has made me want to go. I think a trip on Eurostar lies in my future!