Enfin, Paris!: Oh my Versailles, ces choses1 sottes

What a treat for the young, a fairytale!

I have been lucky in life, I have seen some impressive old structures. I have yet to see the Taj Mahal, but one day soon, I hope to. I have seen the beautiful Banqueting House in London, which houses a beautiful Rubens collection; the Summer Palace in Moscow, which I still marvel over the floors and the moldings; the Forbidden Palace which was unending rooms, walkway windows and the Dragon Mural; the perfect blends of tile and carving in the Alhambra and the Harem at Topkapi.

All for the glory of France. . .

And him, too! Pierre Cartellier and Louis Petitot’s Equestrian Statue of Louis XIV

Thirty plus years ago as a bubble head, I visited Le Château de Versailles. I remember walking through the Galerie des Glaces (The Hall of Mirrors)  wondering what it was that made it so memorable. It was not as grandiose as it now is (and I was not as on the ball then), since Paris has fallen in love with gilding. This blog was started one year ago, since then I have been to Vienna and visited Schloß Schönbrunn. It was billed as rivaling Versailles. Both it, and the Belvedere, are quite nicely designed as a whole architectural units. Schönbrunn is quite lovely for a 20 minute walk if you dodge the American and Japanese tourists (yeah, and NO photos!) through it’s limited quarters ticket, but it is not Versailles. The French, in pride of their illustrious history, allow photographing all over! All that glitters, really is.

Entering to see the Royal Chapel (directly above left), then up this beautiful winding staircase (upper) and a better view from above (directly above right).

And bien sûr, the portable thrones!

Rooms full of painting, but plenty of outside gardens through the windows to provide air and light. (No extra charge for part of my finger!)

A sun for the Sun King, and in its place in context, Hyacinthe Rigaud’s Louis XIV.

The War Room preceded entering the Hall of Mirrors.

Schönbrunn had a lovely hall of mirrors, in fact double wide, but not this length.

Don’t forget to click on the photos to see details, like the wood floors. I remember the Summer Palace in Moscow had phenomenal floors and mosaic. Here the floors provide respite from the already elaborate rococo.

Because there is more than you would expect, I had to divide the blog into two parts (like the Garnier)! The bedrooms I had forgotten about, and they are really totally astounding on their own. Such a world of detail.

For more about the Chateau http://www.chateauversailles.fr/homepage or for more about the Equestrian Statue http://www.thearttribune.com/The-Louis-XIV-sculpture-returns-to.html

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