Royal Treatment

Paris Travel Blog

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Main Gate...entrance to the Ministers' Courtyard

I got up around 7:30 a.m. and decided to visit Château de Versailles.  I Got myself ready and had breakfast at the hotel's cafe. I grabbed my camera and then take the Metro to Invalides and then Regional Express Railway (RER) to Gare De Versailles Rive Gauche (Versailles). When I got out from the RER station, I was a bit lost. Then, I stopped a young lady and asked, "Bonjour! Parlez-vous anglais?" She said "Yes!". I asked her the direction to Château de Versailles. Bingo! Can you believe that I don't know a word of French???!!! Well, on the last page of my travel book, it has some useful French phrases...that really saved my life!

I walked to the Main Gate which is Mansart's orginal gateway grille, surrounded by the royal arms. That leads to the Ministers' Courtyard. The courtyard is as big as a football field...it took me around 10-15 minutes to walk from the gate to the Marble Courtyard. At the end of the Ministers' Courtyard, there is the Louis XIV's statue.

Louis XIV's Statue at the Royal Courtyard
It was erected by Louis Philippe in 1837 and stands where a gilded gateaway once marked the beginning of the Royal Courtyard. On the right hand side, you can see the Chapelle Royale, L’Opéra and picture galleries that occupy the North Wing, which were originally royal appartments. On the left hand side is the South Wing, which was the original apartments for great nobles were replaced by Louis Philippe's museum of French history. I walked through The Royal Courtyard and stopped in front of the Marble Courtyard. This magnificent courtyard is decorated with marble paving, urns, busts and a gilded balcony. That really caught my eye! Hercules and Mars flank The Clock overlooking the Marble Courtyard. I turned around and walked towards the ticket office to get a ticket and entered the Chapelle Royle.

The main apartments are on the second floor of the vast château complex. Starting from the Salon de Venus, Salon of Diana, Salon of Mars, Salon of Mercury and then Salon of Apollo which was originally designed to serve as king's bed chamber. It was transformed and used as a throne room. At the far corner is the Salon de la Guerre. Then I turned to the Hall of Mirrors where great state occasions were held in this multi-mirrored room stretching  233 ft. along the west facade. I continued to check the Cabinet du Conseil, the King's Bedroom (where Louis XIV died in 1715), Oeil-de-Boeuf, and the Queen's Bedroom (in this room the queens of France gave birth to the royal children).

Fountain of Latona
The last room I saw was the Salon du Sacre, adorned with huge paintings of Napoleon by Jacques-Louis David.

It was the time to check the famous vast gardens of Versailles. While I was walking to the Water Parterre's, Fountain of Neptune & Fountain of Latona, I noticed that there were scaffolds on the walls that faced the gardens. That's right...I came to visit during the non-peak season and major renovations were taking place! I took some pictures around those famous fountains and continued to check the Formal Gardens and Colonnade. No flowers were blooming at that time , just some nicely groomed hedges and green plants. At last, I saw the Grand Canal, which runs through the middle of the garden.

The South Parterre's shrubbery and ornate flowerbeds overlook the Swiss pond.
It was the setting for Louis XIV's many boating parties. I didn't see any royal boats but some rowing boats! I turned around and walked back to the South Parterre's  and the Orangery. Well, it's time to go and say goodbye to the French kings!

I took the RER and Metro back to the hotel. After I freshened up, I went out to have dinner. "What should I have tonight?" Ummm...it was such a mission. I walked along Blvd St. Martin to Blvd Poissonniere. I spotted a TGI Friday over there...an American restaurant in Paris. I thought they should have some food that I would be more familiar with. Why not give it a try! The waiter handed me the menu and spoke to me in English, not French! They have English menu!! HURRAY! I was pretty happy on the way back! Honestly I'm so easily satisfied!

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Main Gate...entrance to the Minist…
Main Gate...entrance to the Minis…
Louis XIVs Statue at the Royal Co…
Louis XIV's Statue at the Royal C…
Fountain of Latona
Fountain of Latona
The South Parterres shrubbery and…
The South Parterre's shrubbery an…
The Royal Courtyard
The Royal Courtyard
Through the main entrance of (Châ…
Through the main entrance of (Ch…
La Chapelle Royale, a Baroque chap…
La Chapelle Royale, a Baroque cha…
At the Royal Courtyard
At the Royal Courtyard
Marble Courtyard
Marble Courtyard
The Clock (Hercules and Mars flank…
The Clock (Hercules and Mars flan…
Going up to 2nd Floor of the palace
Going up to 2nd Floor of the palace
Painting
Painting
Queens Bedroom. In this room the …
Queen's Bedroom. In this room the…
Salon de la Guerre...the rooms th…
Salon de la Guerre...the room's t…
Hall of Mirrors...Great state occa…
Hall of Mirrors...Great state occ…
Painting
Painting
Painting on the ceiling
Painting on the ceiling
Painting
Painting
Vase
Vase
Oeil-de-Boeuf
Oeil-de-Boeuf
the statue
the statue
The water Parerres
The water Parerre's
The Broze statue around the Water …
The Broze statue around the Water…
Marble basins rise to Baltbazar Ma…
Marble basins rise to Baltbazar M…
Glimpse of the chateau from the ga…
Glimpse of the chateau from the g…
Fountain of Neptune
Fountain of Neptune
The Grand Canal
The Grand Canal
Paris
photo by: Sweetski