Our Honeymoon: Versailles

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After our two days at Disneyland Paris it was time to begin our planned tour of northern France. We rented a car at Gare de Marne-la-Vallée – Chessy at Disneyland and made our way to our next destination outside of Paris: Versailles. The palace was more lavish and grand then we could have ever expected. Walking through each room and hallway was more than just breathtaking, it was surreal.

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There’s certainly no shortage of gold at the palace. So much of the moulding and ornamentation is gilded, such as this representation of the sun god, Apollo.

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La Chapelle Royale is spectacular. We were not able to enter, so we had to settle for this view through the doorway.

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Some parts of the palace have not been recently restored, and the weathering of the chapel’s exterior roof adds a wonderful bit of character.

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There is a series of models showing the evolution of the palace over four building campaigns. We always love looking at models, especially ones as detailed as this.

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The Salon d’Hercule is filled with interesting textures including a very grand trompe-l’œil ceiling.

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These beautiful chairs are on display in the Grand cabinet de Madame Adélaïde.

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The bibliothèque de Madame Victoire is one of our favorite rooms in the palace. It was one of the few rooms with books, and the only one with this many. It also has a certain intimacy that differentiates it from all the other rooms.

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Here is James climbing one of the King’s private staircases.

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The Galerie des Glaces is probably the most famous room in the château. James could hardly believe that he was walking through the room where the Treaty of Versailles was signed.

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Here is a reconstruction of Marie Antoinette’s bed hangings. The bed chamber has been beautifully restored and feels like something out of an opera.

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The Salon des Nobles is not so outlandish by comparison. I love the combination of the green wallpaper with the dark wood furniture and gilded trim.

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Another one of our favorite rooms is the Galerie des Batailles. The room is filled with large paintings depicting French military victories. The color of the ceiling paint is wonderfully subtle, and the light filters in so softly through the skylights.

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The gallery was commissioned by King Louis-Philippe I, and his initials can be seen around the oculus.

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Once we ended the tour of the interiors of the palace we walked out to explore the gardens, but first we ate lunch at a restaurant right off of the Grand Canal called La Flotille.

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The gardens are quite a sight and they cover well over one thousand acres. We were short on time and could not fully explore them, but we did walk through a few sections.

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None of the fountains were turned on, so we could not get the full experience here at the Bosquet de la Colonnade.

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The entrance to the Bosquet de la Salle de Bal was closed, but we were fascinated by the tiers of sea shells that we could glimpse through the gate. We would have loved to have seen the water cascading over the shells.

There is so much more that we would like to see at Versailles, such as the Hameau de la Reine and Grand Trianon. We certainly plan on returning to France again at some point in our lives, and Versailles and its gardens prove they are definitely worth another trip some day.

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