Gilding the Lily at Versailles

Real Estate Agent with RLAH Real Estate AB95346

Gilding the Lily at Versailles

The French Revolution was, in part, a reaction to the excesses of the aristocracy in France in the 18th Century, including the royal family.  Looking at the way they lived, and the number of amazing palaces, it's not hard to understand how the 99 percent felt, well, a little peeved. 

Versaille especially was a gilded cage - literally!  It began when Louis XIV moved his family there from Paris in 1672.  It began on a relatively modest scale, then the complex got larger and larger, with some government buildings, and eventually an opera house, two smaller castles and a little hamlet where Marie Antoinette could get away from it all.

The organ in the palace chapel  was also noteworthy.  It would be hard for me to pray in this room.  I'd spend my Sunday mornings staring at the gold ornamentation on the organ pipes.

When you arrive at the palace, the gates themselves are pretty spectacular.  And you have to ask, wow!  Is this real gold?  It may not be, but it sure looks like a piece of fine jewelry, especially against a clear, blue sky.

Then there is the facade of the main castle, which is also gilded to the hilt.  Not only is the elaborate stone work and sculpture quite fantastic, but the gilding along the sides of the building along the roof line is almost too much. 

It's almost like French Baroque music, which is supposed to be played with a lot of improvised embellishments and ornamentation.  But somehow, it's less overwhelming when I'm listening to some harpsichord music that Francois Couperin composed than when I'm looking at these buildings.

And I mustn't forget the amazing Hall of Mirrors, which feels like it must be the place where they perfected Frech doors.

And I haven't even gotten to the gardens! 

If you get to Paris, I'd recommend that you put Versaille on your list of places to visit.  You can get there from the city with a quick train ride.  And be sure to wear very comfortable shoes - it's a whole lot of walking!

And don't forget your camera!



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Dick Greenberg
New Paradigm Partners LLC - Fort Collins, CO
Northern Colorado Residential Real Estate

Hi Patricia - Great pistures. Mary & I visited Versailles around Christmas time one year, and there was no one there. It was a unique experience to have the run of the whole place - we really like Marie Antoinette's Hamlet. Hope you enjoyed it as much!

Sep 16, 2012 01:44 AM #1
Rene Fabre
First American Title - Seattle, WA
Marketing in the Digital Age

Pat: Very cool post and photos. I have yet to make it to Paris or Versailles. My daughter and I traced the family back on my Grandpa Fabre's side and it appears (but needs further verification) that thanks to Louie the XIV he lost his head in the Guillotine! I love the history of this time and that Louis XIV didn't care for Italian Baroque. He wanted to glorify French Baroque with a different sensibility both in music, painting, and architecture. 

Sep 16, 2012 02:17 AM #2
Jeffrey DiMuria 321.223.6253 Waves Realty
Waves Realty - Melbourne, FL
Florida Space Coast Homes

Pat...what an amazing trip I took to Paris some years ago. A great place that all should save up and visit.

Sep 16, 2012 02:20 AM #3
Chris and Dick Dovorany
Homes for Sale in Naples, Bonita Springs and Estero, Florida - Naples, FL
Broker/Associate at Premiere Plus Realty

Thank you for sharing.  I'm sure not even your pictures do it it's true justice.  Beautiful.

Sep 16, 2012 02:32 AM #4
Roy Kelley
Realty Group Referrals - Gaithersburg, MD
Roy and Dolores Kelley Photographs

Thanks for sharing your beautiful photographs.  We do not need to guild he lilies that we have at home.

Have a great day and an outstanding week with your camera in hand.

Sep 16, 2012 03:36 AM #5
Patricia Kennedy
RLAH Real Estate - Washington, DC
Home in the Capital

Dick, I was there once years ago during the winter, and my feet have never been colder!  I'm impressed that you made it all the way to the Hamlet.

Rene, actually, I don't thing the Guillotine wasn't used until grandson Louis XVI was in power at the time of the French Revolution.  And a whole lot of folks lost their heads in that one.  Ouch!

Jeffrey, I agree.  I think I want to go often.

Chris and Dick, it's hard to do Versailles justice with a camera!



Sep 16, 2012 03:39 AM #6
Dorie Dillard
Coldwell Banker United Realtors® ~ 512.346.1799 - Austin, TX
Serving Buyers & Sellers in NW Austin Real Estate

Good afternoon Pat,

Versailles was on of the first places we visited on our several exursions to Paris! You are right: Versailles especially was a gilded cage - literally!

Sep 16, 2012 04:39 AM #7
Susan Neal
RE/MAX Gold, Fair Oaks - Fair Oaks, CA
Fair Oaks CA & Sacramento Area Real Estate Broker

Hi Pat - Thank youthank you for your wonderful travel reporting on Paris and surrounds.  Loving these posts!! And if I get there one day I will make a point to visit Versailles.

Sep 16, 2012 07:11 AM #8
Sharon Alters
Coldwell Banker Vanguard Realty - 904-673-2308 - Fleming Island, FL
Realtor - Homes for Sale Fleming Island FL

Pat, I have been to Paris twice but never made it to Versailles. The last one was just a missed flight and we spent the next day touring around with no time to go that far. If we get back there, Versailles will definitely be on my list!


Sep 16, 2012 09:38 AM #9
Jeff Dowler, CRS
Solutions Real Estate - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude - Carlsbad


Beautiful photos, and thanks for the history lesson. We visited Versaille a few years ago and it was incredible, even in the early winter with snow outside. True oppulence!


Sep 16, 2012 10:19 AM #10
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

Fabulous photos that really help capture the character of the place.  No wonder so many (eating crumbs) would get upset at the excess!

Sep 16, 2012 08:50 PM #11
Gabe Sanders
Real Estate of Florida specializing in Martin County Residential Homes, Condos and Land Sales - Stuart, FL
Stuart Florida Real Estate

Beautiful pictures, Patricia.  It's just such a spectacular place that demands attention and respect.

Sep 16, 2012 09:46 PM #12
Steven Cook
No Longer Processing Mortgages. - Tacoma, WA

Pat -- thank you for some more beautiful pictures and suggestions for those going to Paris in the future.

Sep 17, 2012 05:41 AM #13
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Patricia Kennedy

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