Monday, October 3, 2011
Because of my on-going fascination with all things Marie Antoinette, a visit to Versailles was a must on my to-do list during my recent trip to Paris. Just a half hour's Metro ride outside of the city, the palace where the queen of France lived with her husband Louis XVI (and his ancestors before that) is enormous and opulent in all its 18th century grandeur - everything seems to be glistening in a fresh coat of gold.
This is the cathedral where Marie and Louis were wed.
Paintings of the royal family, as well as religious and hunting themes abound in every room.
Many of the original furnishings are also on display, such as this velvet damask fainting couch.
In every room you have to look up, up, up, since the ceilings themselves are works of art, not to mention the crystal chandeliers everywhere.
We are now about to enter the famous Hall of Mirrors, the largest room in the palace. As you will see, there were throngs of tourists the day I visited. It kind of gave new meaning to one of my favourite lines in Sofia Coppola's film, when Marie obligatorily makes small talk with Madame du Barry, 'There are a lot of people at Versailles today.'
This is Marie's beautiful bedchamber. Ironically, the room seemed smaller to me than I'd imagined from the movie.
Marie reportedly escaped through this side door when the palace was invaded near the end of her reign.
And this is her jewelry chest! Imagine how many diamonds she must have had stored in here!
The black and white harlequin floors made me want to dance...
with this handsome gent.
Inspired by my tour, I created this necklace and have entitled it - what else? - 'gilded versailles'. Featuring a vintage filigree commemorative pendant of the courtyard and goldtone and crystal chains and bows, it will be available in my Etsy shoppe later today.
Alas, it is time to leave Versailles for today. Please stay tuned for photos of the breathtaking gardens coming soon. Au revoir! :)