Saturday, February 5, 2011

Versailles: The Chateau, The Grounds, and Grand Trianon

Twenty kilometers southwest of Paris sits the ultimate symbol to France's absolute monarchy, the royal chateau of Versailles. Originally a hunting lodge built by Louis XIII, it was his successor Louis XIV who began the expansion resulting in the grand palace that you see today. Louis XIV was just slightly obsessed with having control over his court, so moving them all out to Versailles ensured  that control, and distanced him from citizens of Paris.

Approaching the main entrance, I was in awe of the size and scale of this elaborate palace. We arrived at 11:30 and left at 5:30pm. We visited the Chateau, the grounds, The Queen's Hamlet, and the Grand Trianon (smaller palace built by Louis XIV). We went at a fairly leisurely pace, so if you want to see everything you would need two days. Also in the warmer months I'm sure you'd spend more time in the gardens than we did on a cold winter's day. Although even in the starkness of winter, they're beautiful.


When shooting photographs, I tried to capture entire rooms as well as the finer details of the statues, furniture and decorative arts. It was often the details that really captured my eye; a moulding, a window latch, or the feet on a statue. Enjoy!

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