Amsterdam view from Amsterdam Tower

Amsterdam view from Amsterdam Tower
The view from Amsterdam Tower

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Paris - J'adore (Le Chateau de Versailles)

Un Chateau? Oh la la... The word of Chateau or Castle sounds very elegant and luxurious to me.

Le Versailles (pic was taken from the backyard)

That is where the French King used to live... My imagination wondered around; the big castle, the luxurious interior layout, beautiful ornaments, paintings… the guards with their horses, beautiful princesses with silky hair… Perhaps one of them fell in love with their guards and their family disapproved -:)  Sinetron alias telenovela sekali deh…

Until now, I believe France is one of the countries in Europe that has many castles. The Barons in the countryside may have these castles by generation as family legacy. 

Part of Le Versailles (front view)

Maintaining them is not easy. It requires lots of money for renovation. On top of that, it has to be done correctly with the supervision of the local government and experts. It means lots of Euro and takes long time... The faith of castle some time changed because of this. Owner who could not afford maintaining it anymore, might hand it over to the government or sell it to private sectors.

Le Chateau de Versailles

We had to take a train from Paris to go to Versailles. It is about 30 minute to 20 kilometers southwest of Paris.

On our way to the castle, I was briefed by my personal tour guide who is also my loved one about the history about Le Versailles -:)

King Louis XIV - He built Le Versailles

Prior to Versailles, The French King used to live in another castle where "The Louvre Museum" is now. Until one day, King Louis XIV decided to build this castle. The first building commenced at around 1664 to 1668. Versailles kept on expanding after it was first built; it became bigger and more luxurious.

However, this is also the place where his ancestor the last King of France: King Louis XVI and Queen Marie Antoinette were coup d’├ętat by the people. French Revolution. The people was very poor meanwhile the King family lived in a luxurious life. The King and Queen were executed in 1793. The guillotine.

Le Versailles (front view)

While walking to the entrance of the castle, I saw some big and beautiful ancient buildings.  Are these parts of the castle?  My loved one answered: "No, they have nothing to do with the castle.  Perhaps centuries ago, they were the places for the servants or stables".....  Hahhh? Bangunan besar dan bagus gitu mungkin cuma tempat kumpul para asisten rumah tangga istana atau kandang kudanya raja, #gubrak.

Le Versailles (front view) - can you see the queue?

Le Versailles only has one entrance for tourists. Pre-purchased ticket has no privilege to bypass the queue. Seriously, there was a long queue like maybe 500 meters! However, everyone queued accordingly.  This is what I like about Paris… Queuing habit is respected.  Anyway, it took us 30 minutes to get inside of the castle.

There are many tourists and most of them are from other European countries. I could guess from their accents.  I noticed a group of Indonesian travel agent, cool... 

One thing that I like to do while queuing is acting like a "Fashion Police"... In this particular winter period, I like to looking at people hats!  Especially the ones called trapper hats.  They are cute with the fur covering the ears.  I also like to pay attention to earmuff, so cute...  In my daily routine life in Saigon, I do not get to see people wearing winter hat -:)

The Organ
Inside the Castle

Indeed it is elegant and luxurious... 

"Pernak pernik cantik di Istana" / Beautiful stuff in the Castle

The castle was not only for King and his family, but also to accommodate the Nobles from the countryside.  Those Nobles were powerful local leaders.  It was important for the King to have their supports and to keep his eyes on them.

La Galerie des Glaces or the Hall of Mirrors

One of the most beautiful and famous rooms in the castle is La Galerie des Glaces or the Hall of Mirrors.
Everyone wants to take pic @La Galerie des Glaces
In the King’s bedrooms, there is a line of chairs nearby his bed.  When the King woke up in the morning, there were a line of people sitting outside his bed.  Depending in their rank/position, that is where they should sit.       

Left: King Bed. Right: A line of chairs next to his for specific people

The Garden

The garden could be seen from inside while walking along the Hall of Mirrors. It is a typical French garden of 800 hectares area.

I wish I could see this garden in summer or spring when the flowers are blooming.  Around that period, I am sure most sculptures in the garden will be uncovered.  Some of them were covered in December as perhaps it is to avoid the damage caused by ice.  The fountains – there are probably ten fountains in Versailles… It must be beautiful when the fountains are playing.

The garden at Le Versailles

It is a huge garden... and there is no way we could walk around without feet getting sore! Luckily we saw buggy rental.  It is either sore feet or 30 Euro/hour.  The idea of driving around in Versailles with the buggy seems cool. 

I was so proud that my Indonesian driving license can be used to drive in Europe, in Versailles to be exact, LOL… No other ID card is accepted to rent the buggy other than driving license. I actually drove in maximum speed allowed which is < 10km/hour!

The buggy can only be driven within the specific area inside Versailles.  There are some interesting places within the Versailles.  One of them is the Petit Trianon which is Queen Marie Antoinette’s palace. 

It was cold (10°C) and windy afternoon.  It was cold for me…. Seeing someone selling hot baked potato and hot wine outside the fence of this palace cheered me up. The food stall is called Le Parmentier after the promoter of the potato as a food source in Europe during Louis XVI’s time. Yippee…

Le Permentier

Driving around in a buggy and having modern picnic in Versailles – isn’t it cool?

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Paris - J'adore (Notre Dame de Paris)

1 comment:

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