Monday, June 11, 2012

Palace of Versailles - Paris

Thursday morning we decided to head to Versailles.  It was initially built as a country estate, but as the city has grown, is now part of the suburbs of Paris (20km from the city center).  Since we were staying in the city, even taking the higher speed suburban trains with less stops, it took us almost an hour to get there.

The court of Versailles was the center of political power in France from 1682, when Louis XIV moved from Paris, until the royal family was forced to return to the capital in October 1789 after the beginning of the French Revolution.  Versailles is therefore famous not only as a building, but as a symbol of the ancient regime.

Even walking up to the gates of the palace, you could see the gold plated gates and the sheer size (which you can't really see until you're in the gardens), just screams opulence.  It's amazing to think that people actually lived this extravagantly and it's easy to see how starving people in the streets would have cause to rebel.

The theme of the day : Brady screaming almost nonstop.  This is him screaming in line to get in.

Happy for a few moments to run around since strollers weren't allowed inside.

The chapel

The amazing inside of the chapel.

More inside the chapel.

Every room had amazing painted murals.  They were simply beautiful!

The screamer.  At one point a German tourist offered us candy in hopes of getting him to calm down.  It didn't work.  I think the combination of getting up early, taking so long to get there, and his loss of freedom being carried was too much.  I figured he might wear himself out, but the screaming continued until we made it outside, with a few moments in between screams.

Entering the Hall of Mirrors.

A rare moment that was scream-free.

The runny nose tells it all.

A view down to the gardens below.

Finally free and happy.

The gardens went on forever.  Andy laughed and said if we were here without a child, we could spend all day strolling them.  It started to rain at this point, so we headed back to the train station for the hour long ride back to our hotel for nap time.

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