Google+ The Norris Files: Paris Day 2


Paris Day 2

After breakfast at the hotel I left early for the Champ de Mars metro station to catch the RER line C train out to Rive Gauche which is the closest station to Chateau Versailles. Forty minutes later I had arrived and from there it was a walk of around 1km or so to the Chateau. Even from a distance the Château is impressive as it is located on a slight rise at the end of a main thoroughfare the Rue de Paris which leads you directly to the Château’s impressive gates.
Being a weekend there was a long line up to gain entry into the Chateau. Disappointingly, the Paris Museum Pass no longer allows you to bypass the line, so it was a case of waiting in line. Once I was in the grounds I skirted around to the front of the Chateual to the courtyard which looked up to the royal balcony. It was here on October 6th 1789 that an angry mob had gathered after marching from Paris and demanded that Marie Antionette the Queen present herself. It was on this very balcony that she appeared and curtisied with such aplomb that the angry mob was briefly pacified. However, hours later her and her husband the king were led captive back to the capital where they were held captive for 2 years before eventually executed. So I guess I could say that I was standing on the spot where the French Revolution had its origin.

From there I moved inside the Chateau into the State Apartments and the beautiful Royal Chapel hidden behind its golden doors and built exclusively for the King and Queen to attend mass. Passing by the Chapel I entered the Hercules Drwaing Room which was the main banquet and reception area of the Chateau and then onto the Salon of Abundance before entering the Diana Room which was the billiard room. Next up was the Apollo Room which was the grand throne room where the King held court and from there I entered the next room probably the Kings greatest triumph The Hall of Mirrors. This hall is 250 feet long, 17 arched mirrors are matched by 17 arched windows which refect the view of the gardens. Lining the hall were 24 gilded candelabras hanging from the picture ceiling which chronicles the military accomplishments of the King and completed by a central panel showing the King with cupids playing cards at his feet.

A brief walk took me to the Kings bedrooms and apartments which looked out onto the Chateaus central courtyard. Returning to the Hall of Mirrors at the far end I entered the Peace Room where at the end of the Sun Kings reign and tired of war, he granted peace to Germany, Holland and Spain. Passing through the Peace Room I entered the Queens Room and her apartments in which 2 Queens died and 19 princes were born. Next was the Queens antechamber where the Royal family dined publicly follwed by the Coronation Room which honours Napoleon who became a Frances virtual dictator after the overthrow of the monarchy.

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