According to Rick Steves, if there is only one palace that you visit in Europe, Versailles is that place. He was right. Pictures and words can hardly do it justice. The grandeur, the magnificence of it. The palace, the gardens, the grounds...stunning, simply stunning.
King Louis IVX built it. He worshiped the sun but what was most interesting on the tour was in the onsite cathedral. The King would bow down, but the rest of the court would bow to him as he worshiped God. What was seemingly a good thing, the cathedral, was not at all as it was set so that others worshiped man. It was an interesting conversation to have with the children.
|the backside of Versailles|
Behind the children you see just one small portion of the gardens. The tress are citrus trees, normally grown in warmer climates. Since the King worshiped the sun, he found a way to grow them in Versailles. In the cold months they were wheeled in to a green house that was kept at the right climate for them. While today the trees are in clay pots, during his reign they were kept in silver pots.
There were no historic ruins in the area, so King Henry had his own made. People could be found here lounging and listening to music among the "ruins" that weren't really ruins.
In the distance you can see the long green lawn, and a long rectangular pond on the far side. Apparently Versailles was set up so well that other capitals were modeled after it. Look again and then think to the Washington monument and the reflection pool. Look familiar?
Below are a few of the ponds that pay tribute to the Greek gods.
Jamison waited in line for over 2 hours to get a tour inside Versaille (and we had even prepurchased tickets!) This was the children's favorite room, the room of mirrors. The picture does not even do justice to the length or number of chandeliers in this room. The palace was lavishly decorated.
A few family snapshots!