I love Paris, but I have decided to move. I’ll be packing my things this week and heading to my new home: Le château de Versailles. It's fitting for me since I have always wanted to be a princess (and a dinosaur and a bug, but I am still working on those). The palace began construction in 1623 by King Louis XIII to serve the purpose of a hunting lodge. The major expansions were overseen by King Louis XIV when he moved from Paris to Versailles in 1682. Men worked on the elaborate structure 24/7 with the exception of Sunday morning to attend mass. At night, the men worked by torch light...what dedication! Their hard work is evident as Versaille’s grounds cover 87,728,720 square feet, 2,014 acres, including 230 acres of gardens. The palace itself contains 721,206 square feet of floorspace!
The land is enormous and the gardens are just as exquisite as the palace itself. Inside the palace there are well known rooms and apartments like le grand appartement du roi, le appartement de la reine (King’s Apartment and Queen’s Apartment) and La Galerie de Glaces (Hall of Mirrors) where commoners could gather and hope to see the king. It was known that you could only speak to him if you made eye contact as he crossed the hall...kind of like the paris metro today where eye contact is often taken as an invitation to spark a conversation. I guess French tradition stays strong.
The palace is a wonder to behold and like the Louvre, a place that requires more than one visit to see in its entirety. Since I plan to move in, this won’t be an issue. My one problem, however, is the size of the beds available. The beds are much smaller and square because people didn’t sleep lying down as this was viewed as a position for the dead. People often slept sitting halfway up! I guess I will have to bring an air-mattress because if I tried to sleep like they did, I would wake up in the morning looking like this:
One of the most incredible aspects of the palace was the art within. The palace was something of a museum for the king with paintings, sculptures and busts lining the walls.
So, I can’t wait to unpack, but I may have to change a few rules. For example, there was a room where people could observe King Louis XIV eating his meals. I don’t know about anyone else, but I would feel incredibly awkward if people sat and watched me eat. Let’s be real here, folks...there is NO way to elegantly eat a sushi roll in one bite.