They say one can spend a lifetime in the Chateau De Versailles and still not be able to cover the entire beauty that it offers. From a simple hunting lodge, it was transformed into the principal royal residence from 1682 to 1789 and witnessed coronations, celebrations, grandeur, tragedy and rebellions. With an official app in place, it is now easier to see and understand this mammoth beauty at one's own pace.
The tour begins with Catherine Bega, President of the Palace of Versailles, inviting the virtual guests in. Each area—be it the State Apartments, the apartments for Louis XV’s daughters, the gardens or the exterior—is fascinating, to say the least. If there is one word that can describe this place, it is grandeur. Marbled floors, gilded furniture, gold-laden beds, brocade tapestries, sculptures, busts, rich paintings on the ceilings and walls celebrating the crusades, the wars, peace time, the monarchs and more, everything is awe-inspiring.
But even in all this there are a few sections that stand out and call for some extra attention. One such place is the Hall of Mirrors. This long gallery with vaulted ceilings was constructed much later than the original palace. The monarch would pass this way daily on his way to the chapel or the queen's chambers, bathed in the light from the glass windows and the many candles in the chandeliers. In fact, the tour makes interesting use of role play and music to create an atmosphere that transports you to the era.
Talking of role play, the French Revolution of 1789 is beautifully brought alive and one can almost feel the rebels storming the castle with murder on their minds and the queen making her escape from a secret passageway. Abandoned for a long time after the revolution, the palace was restored to its lost glory and additional chambers such as the Crusades Rooms and the 14 Empire Rooms were built to commemorate the French royal history.
If you thought the interiors were all that there is to the Chateau, think again. The expansive exteriors house a Hamlet of the Queen. Quite a name for a place laid with 10 small, rustic buildings so that Mary Antoinette could go for her pleasure walks. Likewise, Louis Philippe built the Grand Trianon as a private palace, for his moments of solitude. Besides these, the exterior is laid out with beautifully manicured lawns and gardens, and countless fountains in different shapes that are all still in working order. Maybe
it’s time you went for a dekko.