Chateau de Versailles : grandeur of a bygone era

I still can’t believe why I didn’t visit to Versailles on my first visit to Paris; apart from being flooded with visitors, the chateau de Versailles is easily the most magnificent building in Paris and rightfully so, listed as a UNESCO world heritage site.

It is about an hour train ride from Paris; I was initially skeptical because the information on getting there was pretty complex, involving a few train changes amidst confusingly-named train stations. Well, it wasn’t as bad as I thought. One thing that I can’t stress enough is to get there early; if possible, reach there before 9 am. I know it involves a lot of efforts. Many people advised this and we didn’t pay attention to the advice. There is no priority queue and everyone need to go through the security check, so we ended up queuing for about one hour under the sun because we only reached around 10:30.

But once we passed through the gates into the palace grounds, everything turned magical. The Louis XIV who built this palace from a rural hunting ground into a magnificent palace is known as Sun King and influenced much on the decorative aspects: sun god Apollo, golden colors in the details of the architecture and the abundance of baby angels.

Versailles - Palace Main Entrance
Versailles – Palace Main Entrance
View of the Palace Chapel from
View of the Palace Chapel: the altarpiece and pipe organ
Beautiful ceilings
Beautiful ceilings inside the palace rooms

One place that you shouldn’t miss is the hall of mirrors: the most beautiful room in the entire palace; there are paintings on the ceiling, glass chandeliers and mirrors on the wall.

Hall of Mirrors
Hall of Mirrors: Chateau de Versailles

The palace is tastefully decorated with paintings in all rooms: from the portraits of the Louis family members to historic battles; many paintings are dedicated to the Apollo, the sun god. It is one of the places where you can appreciate for being there despite all the crowds. I told myself that this trip better worth the queuing outside but after seeing all these, I would queue for this again.

Napolean
Painting dedicated to Emperor Napoleon: raise to power and struggles
Coronation of Napoleon
Coronation of Emperor Napoleon
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