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Visiting King Louis at the Chateau de Versailles

Being a fan of the 90’s Three Musketeer films (which starred Chris O’Donnel, a sober Charlie Sheen, and Jack Bauer himself, Kiefer Sutherland; and later on Leonardo DiCaprio), I always wanted to see where the Musketeers had faithfully served the King and fought against the forces of the evil Cardinal Richelieu, as masterfully played by Tim Curry.

That being said, I was thrilled at the chance to visit the Chateau de Versailles, one of the most beautiful and famous palaces in history.

King Louis XIV

* A statue of Louis XIV on horseback can be found on the very front of the castle grounds, looking all gangsta and victorious. Louis XIV, known as the Sun King and Louis the Great, was the King of France and Navarre for 72 years: the record for longest reign ever!

He was so old when he died, that his great-grandson inherited the throne as Louis’ son and two grandsons were already dead! Having won three major wars (against Germany, Spain and the Dutch), Louis was king during France’s highest point in history and was played by Leonardo DiCaprio in the movie, Man in the Iron Mask. Hey, you know you’re important when Jack Dawson himself deems you worthy of artistic interpretation!


Chateau de Versailles

* An exact replica of the Royal Gate of Versailles made out of 100,000 gold leaves (god damn!) was completed back in 2010. The original gate was torn down during the French Revolution.

Chateau de Versailles

* Located on a suburb of Paris and once the official seat of power of France from 1682 to 1789, the Palace of Versailles, is the ultimate symbol of lavishness, opulence and excess. While walking around the grounds, I totally understood why the peasants revolted back in the day!

Chateau de Versailles

* The view of the courtyard from the Palace. We were lucky this day as the line going into the Palace was rather short. We were also unlucky as it rained pretty much the whole day thus cutting our visit short and stopping us from exploring the Versailles Gardens, in itself a major reason to visit this place!

Chateau de Versailles

* The private chapel of Louis XIV easily dwarfs modern churches all over the world both in size and magnificence! Since most of 17th-18th century Europeans were focused on matters of faith, reason, philosophy and war, unlike our current focus on wealth, entertainment and celebrity; this chapel would be the modern-day equivalent of having the biggest AV room ever, with a 92” LED screen, the most cutting edge sound-system and every gaming console known to man!

Chateau de Versailles

* Every palace needs a hallway decorated with statues of its inhabitants for moments of quiet reflection while walking!

Chateau de Versailles

* Containing paintings and sculptures of every noteworthy soul that ever worked/set foot in the Versailles, the History Gallery is a mini-museum all to itself!

Chateau de Versailles

* I have no doubt that celebs like the Kardashians and Kanye West would possess life-size statues of themselves in their mansions if building statues to honor oneself were still fashionable this day in age!

Chateau de Versailles

* Another view of the Chapel from the balcony on top. Check out the artwork on the ceiling!!

Chateau de Versailles

* Random statue on the way up the stairs to the First Floor. In Europe, the first floor is often represented as floor zero while the 2nd floor is the First Floor. (Confusing I know!)

Diana Salon

* The Diana (Goddess of Knowledge) Salon serves as the vestibule to the Grand Apartment of the King. It was also once the King’s billiards room, as Louis XIV was known to be a superb player.

Diana Salon

* The famous bust of Louis XIV as seen in the Diana Salon. Here he is rocking the 80’s Glam Rockstar look!

Mars Salon

* The Mars (God of War) Salon is full of paintings dedicated to warfare and victory. Originally used as the guardsroom before the King’s Apartment, the room was later converted to a ballroom for music and dance.

Salon of War

* Right before the Hall of Mirrors lies the Salon of War, a room which celebrates the French victory over the Germans, Spaniards and Dutch, that led to the Peace of Nimegue.

Hall of Mirrors Versailles

* The Hall of Mirrors, one of the most famous rooms in the world, is a gallery 73 meters long that celebrates the victory of France achieved after the peace of 1679. Flanked on the left by a wall full of mirrors, and on the right by a wall full of windows, this room was used as a waiting area by the courtiers and visitors seeking an audience with the King.

Hall of Mirrors Versailles

* The entire length of the Hall of Mirrors contains seventeen mirror-clad arches overlooking the gardens, which was an amazing feat at its time as a mirror was the most expensive item to own back then. This was the room used to sign the Treaty of Versailles back in 1919 which finally ended World War I.

Versailles King's Chamber

* Located at the very center of the Chateau was the King’s Chamber, which symbolically was also the seat of power for all of France. I was pretty disappointed with this room as I was expecting it to contain statues of mythical beasts, weapons or bad-ass paintings; this room however was pretty bare compared to all the other rooms in the Chateau!

Versailles King's Chamber

* A closer look at the King’s bed, which I imagine could easily fit three concubines for “Game” night!

Salon of Peace

* The mirror image of the Salon of War in terms of size, decoration and theme is the Salon of Peace, located on the opposite end of the Hall of Mirrors. During the reign of Louis XV, his queen would use the room to hold concerts of either a religious or profane nature.

Versailles Queen's Chamber

* The Queen’s Chamber is referred to as the most important room in the Apartment as while the King’s Chamber is his formal, official sleeping area; this room is where he and the queen actually slept. It’s no wonder that this room is thus more well-decorated, and even features a secret passageway on the left.

Antechamber of Grand Cauvert

* The Antechamber of Grand Cauvert was where the royal family would publicly eat with state dignitaries, dukes and princes. However, only the royal family could actually sit on the table as everyone else was seated on stools surrounding it.

1792 Room

* The 1792 Room commemorates the patriots of the French Revolution, some of whom, ironically, wanted to burn the Chateau down! That would be like the Chicago Bulls commemorating Isaiah Thomas and the Pistons at the height of the Chicago-Detroit rivalry.

Apartments of the Dauphin

* Back on the ground floor (Floor 0 in Europe) and directly below the Queen’s Chambers lie the Apartments of the Dauphin (Heir to the throne) and his siblings (the other princes and princesses). These were the more private rooms as the children would rarely entertain guests unlike the King and Queen, and thus have a more home-ish/cozy feel.

Chateau de Versailles

* An example of the coziness is this study featuring a working desk and bookshelves, aka my future man office! All this needs is a fireplace, La-Z-Boy and giant LED TV!

Chateau de Versailles

* A globe within a globe, the likes of which can be found in the top secret volcano lair of Doctor Doom / Red Skull!!

Chateau de Versailles

* The most polite junk food ever!! Fat…. of which saturates….. as bought from the Chateau cafeteria.

Quatre Temps Mall

* The Quatre Temps Shopping Mall, the largest mall in Continental Europe, was where we spent our last afternoon in Paris. I was able to score some exclusive action figures from the Toys R Us in the building and was finally able to try out the local McDonalds, where I had the 280 Burger with Sauce and Herbs from Provence. Magnifique!

La Defense

* The HUGE Grande Arche located right outside the Metro Stop of La Defense. It must really suck to work in the office on the bottom-most part of the arch!!

Boissiere

* Ye olde reliable Metro Stop, Boissiere. Such an awesome place with cafes, groceries, office buildings and almost no traffic! We never had a problem getting on and off the Metro here, even during rush hour!

Hotel Elysee Union

* Our awesome Hotel Elysee Union, with its pretty cool view of the Eiffel Tower from the street! Rooms were clean, bathroom was roomy, breakfast had generous servings of Nutella and most importantly, wifi was cheap!! Will definitely come back here someday; hopefully soon!

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