"I can see why they chopped off their heads!" Versailles by Dabs
Versailles Travel Guide: 666 reviews and 2,489 photos
It's hard to believe visiting Versailles today that it started out as a mere hunting lodge in a country village for Louis XIII in 1623. Louis XIV, the Sun King, was responsible for turning it into the opulent palace you see today but it would be a Louis further down the royal line that would pay the price for the Sun King's extravagance, Louis XVI and his wife Marie Antoinette. When 6,000 women from Paris marched on Versailles on October 5, 1789 after rumors spread that they were hoarding grain during a bread shortage, they reluctantly left Versailles to relocate to the Tulieries in Paris during the French Revolution. They never saw it again, in 1793 they lost their heads to Madame Guillotine.
For the modern day visitor to Versailles, you do not need to present an invitation from the King but any traveler who has done their homework will come armed with either a prepaid ticket or a Paris Museum Pass or they will feel like one of the many who visited the palace seeking an audience with the King and sit there waiting and waiting and waiting and waiting...
My June 2013 visit was the 4th time I've been to Versailles, I've been in the dead of winter, the heat of August summer, an unusually cool and overcast July day and a gorgeous sunny June Wednesday. Getting to Versailles is very simple, the RER C goes directly to Versailles Rive Gauche in about 40 minutes and the station is just a 10 minute walk from the palace.
The approach to Versailles is less than picturesque, the town has built up around it not unlike many palaces that you will find in Europe. It's a little hard to imagine what it might have been like in the days of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette when Versailles was considered quite a distance outside Paris and there were no cars or telephone poles to mar the view.
For the last two visits the ticketing and security were the same, for those who come without a ticket there is a ticket office and then there is one security line for everyone including those with Museum Passes. After you pass through the security line, you are in the courtyard of the Palace ready to start your visit. When we arrived at around 10:45am, the security line was enormous so we opted to go into the gardens first and walk to see Marie Antoinette's estate before returning to visit the Palace.
- Pros:Opulent palace within easy reach of Paris
- Cons:Fountains only turned on certain days
The final stop on the tour of the interior of the palace was the apartments of the Dauphin and Dauphine, the Dauphin is... more travel advice
After collecting our headsets, the Royal Chapel was the 1st room on the tour of the interior of the Palace. You can't... more travel advice
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