As my return to the good ol’ US of A draws closer, I’m hoping to share a few more places with you! In this endeavor, I realized I never gave the inside scoop on Versailles. So, without further ado, the lovely royal château.
Ever seen the movie Marie Antoinette, with Kirsten Dunst? Versailles was all that and so much more. Pastel, ornate, gilded glory, pure and not-at-all-simple. As you walk through the town of Versailles to get to the Chateau, you’re first greeted by a huge, brilliant, gleaming golden gate, which lets you inside the Chateau grounds to access the ticket office. As soon as you step through the first gate, the ground changes to cobblestones and the architecture becomes ornate. After you make it through the ticket office, you can go inside the next gate (also gleaming gold) and view the vivid colors adorning Chateau du Versailles.
The inside of the house is set up similar to a museum; each room is set up with different works of art, or resembles a different person’s bedroom. All gold everything must have been Marie Antoinette’s motto when she was decorating; I must say, she pulled it off well.
My favorite room inside the house was the Hall of Mirrors. Talk about gilded, this entire hall was pure gold with some enchanting glass chandeliers hung tastefully throughout. One side of the hall was lined in mirrors (perfect selfie opportunity), and the other side was lined with mirrors, filling the room with a bright glow.
Although the Chateau was gorgeous, my absolute favorite part of Versailles was the grounds, specifically Marie Antoinette’s hamlet. On the way to the hamlet, I walked past immaculately kept gardens, the Grand Trianon, and Petite Trianon. Both Trianons belonged to Marie Antoinette in her day. The Petite Trianon was a lovely, ultra-feminine pink marble, accented with a mint and gold gate.
Finally, after walking miles, I reached the hamlet. It’s on the outskirts of Versailles, and it has to be accessed by a gate, a walk through more pretty grounds (including passing the Temple of Love), and finally the hamlet sits amidst the hills. Originally, the hamlet was a working farm while Marie Antoinette stayed there with her children. The place was essentially a small village, quaint and unique and idyllic. A stream ran through with swans on it. There were cows, sheep, rams, and adorable little lambs in the pasture. There was a house with a water wheel, a stone bridge over the stream, and a vineyard.
If I were Marie Antoinette, I totally would have spent all my time in that hamlet. After touring the Chateau in all of it’s gilded glory, the hamlet was a simple retreat, gorgeous in its own right.
On the way out of the grounds, I had just enough time before the palace closed to check out the Temple of Love. This temple was serene and peaceful, surrounded by willow trees.
After a long day of trekking through palatial gardens and bejeweled bedrooms, I was thoroughly awed by Versailles. It is definitely a palace that should not be missed. And, after visiting palaces in about 20 countries all over Europe, I can knowledgeably ascertain that it is one of the most impressive and beautiful royal grounds on the continent.