Gilding the Lily at Versailles

By
Real Estate Agent with Evers & Company Real Estate, Inc. AB95346

Gilding the Lily at Versailles

The French Revolution was, in part, a reaction to the excesses of the aristocracy in France in the 18th Century, including the royal family.  Looking at the way they lived, and the number of amazing palaces, it's not hard to understand how the 99 percent felt, well, a little peeved. 

Versaille especially was a gilded cage - literally!  It began when Louis XIV moved his family there from Paris in 1672.  It began on a relatively modest scale, then the complex got larger and larger, with some government buildings, and eventually an opera house, two smaller castles and a little hamlet where Marie Antoinette could get away from it all.

The organ in the palace chapel  was also noteworthy.  It would be hard for me to pray in this room.  I'd spend my Sunday mornings staring at the gold ornamentation on the organ pipes.

When you arrive at the palace, the gates themselves are pretty spectacular.  And you have to ask, wow!  Is this real gold?  It may not be, but it sure looks like a piece of fine jewelry, especially against a clear, blue sky.

Then there is the facade of the main castle, which is also gilded to the hilt.  Not only is the elaborate stone work and sculpture quite fantastic, but the gilding along the sides of the building along the roof line is almost too much. 

It's almost like French Baroque music, which is supposed to be played with a lot of improvised embellishments and ornamentation.  But somehow, it's less overwhelming when I'm listening to some harpsichord music that Francois Couperin composed than when I'm looking at these buildings.

And I mustn't forget the amazing Hall of Mirrors, which feels like it must be the place where they perfected Frech doors.

And I haven't even gotten to the gardens! 

If you get to Paris, I'd recommend that you put Versaille on your list of places to visit.  You can get there from the city with a quick train ride.  And be sure to wear very comfortable shoes - it's a whole lot of walking!

And don't forget your camera!

 


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Rainmaker
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Sharon Alters
Your Fleming Island Relocation Agents.
Coldwell Banker Vanguard Realty

Pat, I have been to Paris twice but never made it to Versailles. The last one was just a missed flight and we spent the next day touring around with no time to go that far. If we get back there, Versailles will definitely be on my list!

Sharon

September 16, 2012 04:38 PM
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Jeff Dowler CRS
Carlsbad CA Homes for Sale (760) 840-1360
Solutions Real Estate

Pat

Beautiful photos, and thanks for the history lesson. We visited Versaille a few years ago and it was incredible, even in the early winter with snow outside. True oppulence!

Jeff

September 16, 2012 05:19 PM
Rainmaker
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Jay Markanich
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC

Fabulous photos that really help capture the character of the place.  No wonder so many (eating crumbs) would get upset at the excess!

September 17, 2012 03:50 AM
Rainmaker
1,682,406
Gabe Sanders
Stuart Florida Real Estate
Martin County Residential Homes, Condos and Land Sales

Beautiful pictures, Patricia.  It's just such a spectacular place that demands attention and respect.

September 17, 2012 04:46 AM
Rainer
276,566
Steven Cook
- Pierce, King, Kitsap, Thurston, Mason Counties

Pat -- thank you for some more beautiful pictures and suggestions for those going to Paris in the future.

September 17, 2012 12:41 PM
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Patricia Kennedy

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Additional Information

Pat Kennedy -- author of The Irreverent Guide to Real Estate -- gives you a look at life on the streets as a real estate broker in our nation's capital. And her blog is peppered with great advice combined with humor!