Let Them Eat Cake

Versailles quickly rose to the top of my bucket list after watching Sofia Coppola's Marie Antoinette - a very dreamy, rather unconventional period piece sans the dry, history channel overlay. Thankfully it did not disappoint.

Even the weather decided to be perfect

There is no visiting a European landmark without the crazy swarm of tourists, but this time of the year, during the onset of winter, it was quite manageable. The downside is - and this I found to be true for almost all cities - it is also the time for construction and just general upkeep in anticipation of the peak seasons, so everything is picture-perfect but with patches of scaffolding. But it's nothing that cannot be resolved by the correct camera angle (as well as the crop tool)

If Hohenschwangau and Neuschwanstein boast of killer views from every single castle window, Chateau de Versailles has gardens so vast they merit a separate ticket.

While it's no fairy tale castle from the outside, the palace interiors are every inch a display of opulence. The Hall of Mirrors, in particular, has a jaw-dropping splendor that the camera lens can only partially capture.

Every single nook and cranny of the castle is richly decorated. To be honest after a while the chandeliers start getting tiresome.

Of special interest to me, of course, are Marie Antoinette's chambers.

Very Cath Kidston-esque, isn't it? This is the bed where the queen woke up everyday to find a dozen (or more) courtiers all gathered to assist her with her morning grooming rituals, including changing her clothes and applying makeup. To quote the movie:
Marie Antoinette: This is ridiculous.
Courtier: This, madame, is Versailles. 
This is also where she gave birth to the dauphin (crown prince), as aristocrats gathered outside of the golden railings.  So on the one hand, while I die of jealousy for not having a lavishly-decorated palace of my own, there is the horror that is giving birth in public. And getting beheaded. Ah well, you win some, you lose some.

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