For some reason that I can’t quite explain, in the weeks leading up to this vacation I was obsessed with the idea of visiting Versailles. I’ve actually been there before, but not since I was 17 on a class trip to France. Being your typical high school student at the time, I was obviously totally self-involved and unappreciative of my surroundings. I seem to recall my friend Paola and I spending most of our time in France trying to find opportunities to sneak away from our teachers to smoke cigarettes. Ah, money well spent.
Anyway, Versailles is pretty amazing. I remember that I used to think it was way too ornate — all gilt frames and clashing chintzes — but now I love it. I spent an entire day there and took lots of photos, so I’ll be spreading them out over a few posts.
First up is the Palace itself. Apparently Louis XIV was inspired to move the court to Versailles after proclaiming that the Louvre (the formal royal residence) was, at over 14km in length, “too cramped”. But of course. As you would expect, there are many portraits and statues of the Sun King adorning the walls and corridors of Versailles. Modesty was not a highly-rated virtue during this era (at least, not amongst the nobility) — which is kind of great. After all, modesty could not have produced the dazzlingly opulent splendor on display at Versailles, with all of its decadent glory.